Selling Out Taiwan’s Land and People, Trampling any Notion of Intergenerational Justice: Statement of the Green Party Taiwan on the Taiwan government’s non democratic trade negotiations with China; A call for the friends of the Earth to stand together and support “Occupy Taiwan’s Parliament”
March 22nd, 2014
Dear Green Party Members
Since the student occupation of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan began this past week, Green Party board members have actively participated in the related activities both inside and outside of the Yuan buildings in support of the young students. We have asked all party supporters to join in any way they can. To facilitate this, we postponed our annual meeting which had been scheduled to take place on Saturday, 22 March. We regret that the efforts of so many who had worked so hard to prepare for the meeting may have to be repeated, however, the importance of this “peoples’ uprising” against the entrenched interests of the politicos and their supporters, can not be underestimated and thus the Green Party’s full support for the movement. Our office is located less than two blocks away from the legislature and we are keeping the office open twenty four hours a day and invite anyone to come by for hot water, a shower, or just for a break.
We would like to take this opportunity to express the Green Party Taiwan’s official position on the accelerated pace of a slipshod, rough and sloppy promotion of trade relations with China as follows:
(Green Party Executive Committee member and professor of land policy at Taipei University LIAO Pen-chuan addresses students outside the Legislative Yuan Building, where he joined over ten thousand supporters of the students inside the LY buildings for successive evenings)
(Green Party confronts President Ma Ying-jeou in Kaohsiung - southern Taiwan - where Ma visited on 20 March to observe military exercises unrelated to the occupation of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei)
1. First, we endorse the position 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, and includes a system for meaningful monitoring by the stakeholders.
2. On behalf of the land, and to prevent further deterioration of the environment, the Green Party demands an end to the type of agreements such as the currently disputed China/Taiwan Services Agreement where such agreements serve to privatize essential public services and publicly owned assets.
3. The Green Party Taiwan opposes any so called “free trade agreement” that facilitates the exploitation of workers and exacerbates the rich/poor gap. We remind the government that these very trade agreements are the structural source of our current industrial crisis. We call on the government to work to develop local economies and to promote sustainable green industry.
(People outside the Assembly Hall of Taiwan’s Parliament/legislative yuan several days into the “Occupy Parliament” direct action by Taiwan students are like a protecting sun. Photo by FU Chih-nan)
Ma Ying-jeou’s government has been threatening the people of Taiwan by saying “if we don’t sign this trade accord with China, Taiwan will fall behind South Korea” even up through the sixth day of the student occupation of the national parliament. Have they completely lost their ability to give rational consideration to what the students and others are saying? Taiwan’s economy for too long has been based on the assumptions of cheap labor, cheap land and cheap utilities, such that there has been little or no incentive for innovation and creativity. That is the reason for any loss of so called competitiveness. This short sighted policy has continued for too long. The Green Party calls on the government to adopt industrial policies that are sustainable, that do not destroy the social and natural environments and that do not involve a short term distraction such as relying on the Chinese economy.
(Green Party Executive Board Member, CHIU Hua-mei, who is also a professor of sociology at Chung Shan University, joined a group of students that came up to Taipei from Kaohsiung to support the occupying students.)
4. The Green Party calls for the establishment of a ecology based world economy, not one based on today’s unfair free trade agreements. The agreements of the future, including regional agreements should protect the autonomy of all parties. Under such conditions the Green Party is not necessarily opposed to cooperation and exchanges with China.
(Photo, Green Party members outside Taiwan’s Control Yuan on the fifth day of the occupation - spreading the word of the Global Greens’ Charter)