Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Does the public like ECFA?

Funny new scam: on ATMs in Taiwan in less public areas, you can find a sign that says THE WITHDRAWAL FUNCTION ON THIS ATM IS BROKEN. PLEASE USE THE TRANSFER FUNCTION AND THEN INPUT THIS NUMBER followed by a string of numbers. Why didn't I think of that?

Speaking of scams, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) created an infomercial claiming that if Taiwan doesn't sign ECFA, then it will be marginalized like.... North Korea. No, I'm not making that up. We are headed for Pyongyangville if we don't move closer to China. Wish someone would inform the MAC that North Korea's biggest trading partner is.... China.

Meanwhile, in the trenches, Joe Whisbee remains highly skeptical of the wonders of ECFA. Global Views asked the public for its opinion last week and found that even when it loaded the question, it couldn't get more than 51% to agree to "if there are overall benefits for Taiwan then the government should sign it". Curious that even if it has benefits, half the public won't support it. The straight up support/not support question got 46.2% supporting, 35.9% not supporting. I suspect from other polls that the uncommitteds hide a lot of Greenies who are against it.

The pro-KMT China Times polled the public on ECFA. Results?
1. Do you know that our government is planning to conclude an ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement), or Cross-Strait Economic Agreement, for short, with the Mainland?

Yes 73.6%
No 26.4%
Where did they find those 26.4% who have never heard of ECFA? Question three is similar to the Global Views survey:
3. Overall, do you support the signing of a cross-Strait economic agreement?

Yes 42.6%
No 33.8%
No opinion / Don’t know 23.6%
Can't find majority support for ECFA in Taiwan. 67% also supported a public debate on ECFA between the parties, and the next question, which asks who should represent the DPP in a putative debate, says:
Tsai Ing-wen 48.1%
Yu Si-kun 4.2%
Su Tseng-chang 25.5%
Former DPP Chairman Yu Si-kun is about as popular as root canals, while the public obviously appears to have a high opinion of Dr. Tsai, the current Chair.

ADDED: As a smart friend of mine pointed out, the pan-Blue polls never ask if there should be a referendum on ECFA. That position has widespread support on the island.
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Don said...

I like ecfa, it begs for acronymic elaboration:

Easier Commerce, Faster Annexation!

Eviscerating China's Formosan Antagonists

And of course...

Elephant Condoms Farting Anthrax

Anonymous said...

Michael, I am all for putting in "Taiwanese" in the 2010 US Census form. There have been arguments however, that there is no point to this because it seems like Taiwanese Americans are expecting the US to back Taiwan up in a Chinese invasion when that is clearly not going to happen. What do you see in the bigger picture in regards to this?

Unknown said...

Good link:


Richard said...


I don't think there is any need to draw any inferences or relationships between the Census and any other Taiwanese "issue." The Taiwanese Census drive this year is merely to get the word out that you can write in "Taiwanese" and not have to concede to checking off the "next closest thing" (Chinese).

Regardless of the actual use of the information obtained in the Census, it would be nice to have a more accurate count of how many Taiwanese-Americans there are.

I'm sick and tired of all the people saying, "What's the big fuss, why politicize the census." The fact is, the only big fuss being made is by those trying to politicize this. The goal of the push to get the word out on being able to write in Taiwanese, is simply that, you can do it.

Red A said...

I don't doubt that the ECFA is unpopular for many reasons.

I even wonder if free trade with any country is really popular in Taiwan - I'd be interested to see if there were data on that, to compare. Maybe you could see how much is worry about China vs. just anti-trade?

Red A said...

By the way, I have tried to use "special" export zones for many years and have never once succeeded. (For example, to bring in a Chinese part to combine with a Taiwanese item and then ship out.)

It may be my incompetence, but the cost is always prohibitive, and importing the part for re-export, you still end up paying all manner of local taxes. Most of those projects end up being 100% made in China instead. It seems way easier to send Taiwanese parts over than vice versa. Again, could be me though.

Anonymous said...

Taiwanese investors have been reaping great profits to the expense of workers in China. It is strange that Taiwan thinks of itself like a victim while its economy has deflected so much inflation from their collaboration with the Chinese goverment, again at the cost efforts of the people and the environment in the mainland.

Maybe the ECFA will be a step in having cross strait commerce less exploitative.