Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sounds familiar?

A ladybug, just after dawn.

The EU suggests small agreements first.... no FTA in the offing, of course...
"We could begin with smaller agreements," said Frederic Laplanche, head of the European Economic and Trade Office, when asked about the possibility of a free trade agreement between Taiwan and the EU.

Smaller agreements could include an economic cooperation agreement or an investment protection pact, Laplanche said on the sidelines of an EU-Taiwan trade expo in Taipei.

Before any talks on smaller agreements, however, Taiwan needs to remove some trade barriers, such as the restriction of EU meat imports to Taiwan and the government's conservative procurement system, Laplanche said.

For a free trade agreement to exist between the EU and Taiwan, Taiwan needs to make more efforts in opening its market to make the target more feasible, he said.

The EU began just a few years ago to sign free trade agreements with other countries, and Taiwan still "stands far behind in the queue," the envoy said.
Public construction and meat are/were perennial complaints of the US too, but that issue was resolved, and now Taiwan can display its shiny new visa-free status for US entry. Meanwhile the EU says:
Taiwan applies a ban on the bovine meat and bovine products due to the BSE. Such a ban is not in line with the OIE standards, which foresee trade of certain products, like de-boned meat, regardless of the BSE risk status of the country. In addition, the EC has comprehensive measures in place aimed at assuring the highest level of consumer protection, in form of a strict feed ban and strict controls on Specific Risk Materials and active surveillance. OIE has recognised these measures, as 25 Member States are officially classified by the OIE as "controlled risk" or "negligible risk". Despite these OIE guidelines and classifications, EU beef and other bovine products are still banned.

In addition, Taiwan by accepting de-boned meat from the US, with the same OIE risk status, as the EU Member States acts in a discriminatory way toward other trading partners.
 I have to admit, there's a certain irony in the EU, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, or sell it weapons -- what staggering cowardice! -- complaining about discrimination by Taiwan.  Nor is Taiwan the only nation that does this -- national markets worth 85% of EU beef exports do this.
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Anonymous said...

>>I have to admit, there's a certain irony in the EU, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state, or sell it weapons ...<<

Not only that, the French joined the Chinese in a joint navy drill to intimidate the Taiwanese electorate, just four days before Taiwan's presidential election and a referendum in March, 2004.

This ( was CNN's report at the time.

Here ( is Ronald Hilton's short note on it.

As a Taiwanese, I have since always kept that in mind and will never ever forget what France chose to do to Taiwan.

I don't care about EU's petty thoughts about "small" minded trade agreement. Their posturing just looks ridiculous, as if it matters. Their Euro-debt-hole-waiting-to-collapse doesn't matter to me.

Jerome Besson said...

Agreed, it was bad form on the part of France, taking part in those Chinese naval games.

At approximately the same period, French President Jacques Chirac chimed in with G. W. Bush chiding ROC President Chen Shui-bian on his planned referendum on a UN seat for Taiwan.

At the time my president's remark sounded uncalled for. Since then I have learnt some about the on-going international status of Taiwan.

And guess what!

Le Grand Jacques had been briefed about the on-going SFPT status of the Taiwan cession.

And knowledgeable as he was of the implications of the SFPT for the territorial cession, Taiwan, Le Grand Jacques stated it with French bluntness. No referendum on UN entry for Taiwan.


Because the SFPT 2b territorial cession Taiwan is a WTO custom territory, not as nation. ROC was dead on landing. Taiwan is not born yet.

Would you ask me how new nations are born, I would say remember French Algeria and would remind you of the fact that present day Taiwan was once Japanese Formosa.

Have you ever heard of a Formosan war of independence?

Neither do I.

Anonymous said...


Your writing does not make a bit of sense, if not totally outright nonsense:

1. How would Taiwan's status (based on SFPT) prohibits Taiwan from applying for a UN membership? UN can choose to reject the application; and Taiwan can choose to reapply; and UN can choose to reject again; etc.

2. You wrote: "Le Grand Jacques stated it with French bluntness. No referendum on UN entry for Taiwan.".

Therefore, he sent the French Navy from Europe all the way to the Far East to "prohibit" Taiwan from holding a referendum? ...because nobody cared about what he had to utter? Was it so?

Since when have the French been tasked to enforce some sort of "no referendum" rule in the world; particularly to police Taiwan so that the Taiwanese would "behave" themselves?

An independent nation or not, Taiwan is a democracy. France joined a dictatorship to intimidate a democracy by attempting to interrupt their democratic process (an election and a referendum.) It is utterly a shame, period!

San Francisco Peace Treat has absolutely nothing to do with France's shameful bullying behavior.

3. New nations are born in many ways, not just the Algerian way; East Timor, post-WWII Austria (also an occupied cession territory), Lithuania, just to name a few.

The French can continue to lick their Algerian wounds the way they like. But, occasionally, they need to unplug their head out of their narcissistic butts.

4. You wrote: "Have you ever heard of a Formosan war of independence?"

Given that a referendum already caused a French-Chinese navy drill north of Taiwan, would France join China to fight such a war against Formosa?

Anonymous said...

In the political arena, those countries teaming up with China against Taiwan are just trying to do their best for their own good. I don't really think that they should be blamed. The only roadblock to Taiwan's future is, one word, China. Well, not exactly, plus those people in Taiwan who just love sucking up to China. Those are the worst, they want their freedom and fortune in Taiwan and yet they also want to feel the power of being part of China, but yet, don't want to be controlled. I wonder how many of them would dare to permanently move back to China.

Readin said...

"Have you ever heard of a Formosan war of independence?"

Sure I have, it was fought right after the Canadian War of Independence and right before the Australian War of Independence.

Interestingly enough, given that France was German territory during WWII and Taiwan was Japanese territory during WWII, it is more accurate to say that the Formosan War of Independence was fought concurrently with the French War of Independence and the Formosan War of Independence was primarily fought by Americans, just like the French War of Independence.

(Before you point out the Russian role - there were no Russians fighting to liberate France, and if they had been the country that separate France from Germany then France would not have become independent.)

Jerome Besson said...

Dawn of a Chinese Democracy
A KMT Pictures Production
Film Director: Jing-guo Jiang

You are living under the Dome, the old one said.

When will it be lifted? The child asked.

When enough of those trapped inside will join with a humble and thanks-giving heart in that procession I see meandering on the slopes of the mountain each dawn.

What are those people climbing that mountain for?

To greet the rising sun with their prayer.

Shall I, too, rise in the dark and cold to greet the rising sun?

Only then that dome will be lifted.

Unknown said...

The EU is complaining because barriers are enacted to individual countries, and approval procedures are cumbersome and extremely long. On some cases, Taiwanese people have to go to the local factories to verify conditions, ignoring the local veterinary and sanitary organisms. On the other sense, only 1 approval is needed to all EU (even EEC), so it is much easier to export goods to Europe than to import goods from there.

StefanMuc said...

Is there a direct connection between visa free entry and FTAs? Taiwanese have been getting visa free entry to Schengen countries for quite a while now. Chinese don't get that, btw.

Anyway, these are just opening bids in negotiations - each side stating what they want, the final agreement probably looks quite different.

frenchdude said...

I like your blog, but this entry is rather weak.

What has the fact that EU bans selling weapons to China has anything to do with whether their argumentation about beef import discrimination is right or wrong? Or perhaps you are suggesting that this is a retaliation measure?

Your figures about EU beef bans date back to 2000. And again, statistics make weak arguments -- after all, 88% of all countries do not recognize Taiwan, does this make them right?