The ruling and opposition party have already argued the topic which about if we should sign ECFA or not for a long time. President Ma Ying-Jiou insists that's a part of his politics, the government must do it. But the opposition claims that might harm the sovereignty of Taiwan. In the beginning, they're arguing about the name of the pact. China has signed CEPA with Hong Kong and Macau in 2003, the opposition thinks we cannot compare with HK and Macau because they are part of China. In my point of view, they are right; we should emphasize our sovereignty in any negotiations. But in fact, the government never mentions about signing CEPA. They talked about CECA. In order to mistake people, the name has been changed to "ECFA."
I think it's necessary to sign the pact with China as soon as possible. Of course, it should be under the WTO framework and the equal position. The East Asia FTA will be finished in 2010, if Taiwan keep staying outside and do not clear the tariff obstacles of trade between other Asian countries, Taiwan will be marginalized. The products of those countries can circulate without any restraint, so that Taiwan might lose the competitiveness. Under the strong pressure of China, it's almost impossible to sign any FTA with other countries. The U.S. and ASEAN have already made their stance clearly that they won't sign any FTA with Taiwan unless Taiwan has signed with China. Also, the total trade between Taiwan and China has increased rapidly, but there's no pact to protect. It's really risky for the welfare. We may not only lose the international competitiveness but also our inner market.
Although some industries may lost their benefits, but it's sure to lost some benefits when signing the FTA. But, it'll never be sovereignty. If the advantages are much more than the disadvantages, why keep it out? President Ma said we'll not open the circulation of Chinese labors and agriculture products. But it is against the "National Treatment" of WTO. How to lowest the risk is the most important goal before signing ECFA.
We should start the official communication with China, it's necessary. The opposition is better to give up the bias of China. Whenever they mention about China, they turn things down in reflectivity, that's too ideological. Anyway, it's better to discuss about economy in economic way, not politics. It conforms just to the principles of cross-strait economic normalization.