After a lull in such efforts for the greater part of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration, Beijing reignited its drive following the election of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as Taiwanese president.
Despite a series of agreements signed since Ma came into office in May 2008, by far the most consequential item in Beijing’s instruments of unification is the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), which could be signed as early as late next month or in June.
In its approach for the trade deal, Beijing has acted in ways that are strikingly reminiscent of the process surrounding attempts to pass Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kong. Both the content and the manner in which Beijing and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) authorities attempted to pass the bill were controversial. Among others, the bill contained provisions on national security that threatened to blur the lines between Hong Kong’s special semiautonomous status and that of China, and Beijing’s Liaison Office in the territory seriously underestimated the level of opposition to the proposed legislation.
This op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.