- Posted March 19, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Protesters occupy Taiwan legislature
Taiwan Demands Proper Democracy of Its Government
I have noticed that most of the international news have been reporting on Taiwanese students’ protest at the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan Parliament) because of the trade deal with China. It is also mentioned that we feel that the deal is a threat. But the news have never gone deep enough to explain WHY we think that the government owes us a proper response and WHY we think the deal is a threat.
The main reason for Taiwanese students occupying the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan Parliament) is because we feel that our right to democracy has been severely offended, exploited, and insulted by our government.
As a democratic country, it is the government’s obligation to grant its people full knowledge of its decisions and the details of the agreements. It is also the government’s obligation to respect our voices, especially when it concerns our country’s future and the people’s welfare as a whole. Instead of following the legal procedure of signing the deal, President Ma and the high officials of the government have been working secretly upon the trade deal between Taiwan and China, keeping the people in the dark. The deal has been signed in June 2013 WITHOUT evaluating the deal, WITHOUT announcing the deal to the public, WITHOUT gathering professional opinions from scholars and experts, WITHOUT holding public hearings, and WITHOUT making amendments in advance. In brief, our government signed the deal first and then announced it to us. Our government neglected our right to be part of the decision process. Our government transgressed the definition of democracy — the notion that our country was built upon.
We are angry at our government’s rough decision on the trade deal also because we feel threatened by the deal. The purpose of the trade deal is to establish a free-trading system, which is based on equal rights between both countries. However, the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement is a deal that grants China more benefits. Simply stated: it is an unequal trade deal between us and them. We will be giving them access to all sectors of our economy — primary, secondary, and tertiary sectors. They can immigrate to Taiwan without high-standard regulations. They can control our media and our printing industry. (This is the most unacceptable part for me, especially the latter, because a culture’s essence is based on what is embedded in words and in arts. This is simply giving them the power to control our culture.) What about us? Our access to them are limited. Take the service industry as an example, we open our computer, car rental, printed advertisements, and the printing industry to China. In contrast, they only offer their printing industry to us, under the circumstance that they take the lead. This is just one of the tiniest examples of the unfairness of this trade deal.
We all hope that our economy will flourish, and it is not that we refuse to have commercial activities with China. We are simply asking our government to listen to our voices and respect what we have to say. We are angry at our government for keeping us in the dark from such a huge decision — a decision that concerns every single citizen in Taiwan and our future. We are angry at our government for robbing our rights to democracy. We demand justice. We demand a proper response from our government. After all, we are a democratic country, and we live for democracy in this land where we call home.