Undemocratic and unfair Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement must be scrapped.
– Green Party Korea opposes a free trade agreement that accelerates the exploitation of workers and further widens the gap between the rich and poor. Green Party Korea endorses Green Party Taiwan’s position and supports Taiwanese citizens’ opposition to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement.
The protest against a ratification of the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement set off on March 18 and is spreading nationwide in Taiwan. Taiwanese citizens occupied the buildings of the legislature and executive branch to defy the ratification of the trade deal with China. Green Party Taiwan emphasized in its statement that “all international trade negotiations must take place under a comprehensive legal framework, in a transparent manner that takes into account all views of those potentially impacted.” Trade negotiations must also include “a system for meaningful monitoring by the stakeholders,” Green Party Taiwan said, and to protect the environment from further pollution, the government needs to abandon trade packs “such as the currently disputed China-Taiwan Services Agreement where such agreements serve to privatize essential public services and publicly owned assets.”
Taiwan’s ruling party Kuomintang agreed to review a service trade agreement with China clause-by-clause with the opposition party. But KMT broke its word and attempted to forcefully pass the pact, prompting students to launch the protest, which in turn sparked Taiwanese students and citizens’ opposition. Last week, 10 days after the protest began, the Taiwanese government used water canon to clamp down on protestors, fueling conflicts. The protestors are expressing more than the opposition to the FTA; rather, they are demonstrating the public’s frustration with President Ma Ying-jeou, whose wire-tapping of legislators and other anti-democratic actions have ultimately led to the citizens’ occupation of the legislature for the first time in Taiwanese history. Any decision-making that excludes citizens’ participation and lacks transparency such as the service trade pact would wreck more social, economic and environmental havoc. The Taiwanese will bear the brunt of the government’s unilateral push that ignores the citizens’ voice.
Across the world, workers are exploited, the environment is degraded, and public utilities are privatized under the name of FTAs. Green Party Korea endorses Green Party Taiwan’s opposition to an FTA that spurs the exploitation of labor and further widens the gap between the rich and poor. Green Party Taiwan’s call to endeavor to “develop local economies and to promote sustainable green industry” must be heeded keenly.
Green Party Korea, as a member of the Asia Pacific Greens Federation, urges the Taiwanese government to adopt an industrial policy that is sustainable and poses no harm to the society and natural environment. An unfair FTA that seemingly benefits no one should be scrapped.
03/29/2014 – 00:00