【獨立評論@天下】針對「林孟潔文」道歉聲明及Christopher Hughes教授回信全文

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本站於3月21日發表的「林孟潔:服貿協議的草率令人震驚──剛與馬總統會面的倫敦政經學院教授Christopher Hughes談話側記」一文,經查證部份內文與Christopher Hughes教授談話有所出入,並造成讀者困擾,本站為疏失鄭重向Christopher Hughes教授與所有讀者道歉。本站在查證過程中並已撤下此文。

Christopher Hughes教授已回信並授權本站今日刊出信函,其回函大意為:一,該文是林小姐以交換學生的身分,透過課業諮詢時間,而非以採訪的名義進行訪談,過程中也未獲悉被錄音;二、林文對服貿協議以「為其草率感到相當震驚」,說明Christopher Hughes教授的觀點,還算符合他對於服貿協議審查過程,缺乏透明性及正當性的疑問,但他不認為自己會使用「草率」及「震驚」這些字,林文在字詞選擇上可以更謹慎精準;三、他僅是基於學術中立的角度,與林孟潔提到照片放上網是否適當,而非覺得與馬總統合照非常為難,不應被視為不尊重或不喜歡馬總統;四、他對於英文逐字稿中提到駐英代表處部份,有進一步的說明;五、過去幾年,他確實對馬政府部份施政有些批判性想法,對於服貿協議透明性也還有疑問,他的文章跟書籍將能更完整呈現他的觀點。

「獨立評論@天下」為了讓網友與各界看到各種多元的國際觀點,我們會接受部分在海外的文字工作者或學者等投稿,為了突顯這些稿件皆為作者在海外的第一手觀察,因而我們使用「特派員」的冠稱。本次事件後,我們的確檢討這個冠稱有其專業意義,應更審慎使用,不宜通用在所謂海外投稿作者,以免引起誤解。而林孟潔很積極地在英國提供當地觀察,並長期、多次投稿,但仍屬讀者投書身分,冠以「特派員」確實不恰當。

為尊重Christopher Hughes教授,本站在道歉聲明後再度附上林孟潔文的英文逐字稿,提供讀者了解教授的完整想法。

「獨立評論@天下」編輯團隊敬上

 

【Christopher Hughes教授回函全文】

Dear Readers,

I would like to thank Commonwealth magazine for publishing an article and transcript about my views on Taiwan’s political and international situation on its blog and am grateful for the interesting discussion this has triggered off. Too many questions for me to answer directly have been raised by contributors to the blog and through emails. I do believe that some issues are so important, however, that I am obliged to make the following clarifications:

a) Miss Lin's article is not based on a formal interview but is adapted from a transcript of a student tutorial that she arranged in her status as an exchange student and I was not aware that the discussion was being recorded. The views in the article and transcript should therefore be understood as expressed in the context of a dialogue designed to elicit critical thinking on behalf of the student about the current situation in Taiwan. I can understand why Miss Lin felt it necessary to write the Chinese version, given that the verbatim English transcript is hard to follow.

b) I am sure that Miss Lin’s intentions in writing the article were good and the English transcript is correct that I was talking about ECFA when I was discussing the politicisation of trade agreements in cross-Strait relations. I do not recall using the term ‘shocked by it hasty’ (林文中『為其草率感到相當震驚』的字面直譯) when talking about the STA and I do not think I would have used that term, given that I know that the STA was being discussed when I visited Taiwan last summer - so that is not really ‘hasty’. Like many people, however, I am concerned about the apparent lack of transparency and due process being followed in the STA legislation. I think it is fair to reflect that in the article, but the choice of words was not really appropriate.

c) Miss Lin begins the article by implying that I was embarrassed to have a photograph taken of myself shaking hands with President Ma Ying-jeou during my visit to Taiwan in February. This is a misunderstanding that has arisen from the fact that I began my discussion with Miss Lin by asking her if she thought it would be appropriate for an academic to have such a photograph posted on the internet. My own concern about such a photograph is that it could be seen as incompatible with my position as an independent academic whose role is to observe and analyse events and not to be seen to be taking sides in any political dispute. This should not be seen as implying any lack of respect or personal dislike for President Ma, who has been gracious enough to spare his valuable time to allow me to join other foreign academics in discussions with him about Taiwan’s situation over the years.

d) I am concerned about the way in which my comments about the work of the Taipei Representative Office in London might be misunderstood. It is true that I have spent some time discussing Qing history with the recent representative to London, who is a descendant of the founder of China’s first modern navy in the nineteenth century, a period in which I am interested. The point I wanted Miss Lin to think about, however, was how difficult it must be for MoFA personnel to promote Taiwan’s international status in the context of a foreign policy that presents Taiwan as a part of China. The fact that the TRO was instrumental in arranging for me to attend the conference on the East China Sea in Taipei in February, shows that MoFA staffs are active when there is positive movement on foreign policy from Taipei. I believe they are conscientious and hard working people who have to work in an increasingly difficult situation.

e) Finally, I am pleased that this article and transcript has been the focus of an interesting discussion. It is fair to say that I have been critical of many of the policies of the Ma administration over the years and that I am deeply concerned over the current political crisis surrounding the Services Trade Agreement. However, I believe that the various academic articles and book chapters I have published over the years will give readers a much better understanding of the reasons for this than the contents of an informal discussion in a student tutorial.

 

Best,

Christopher Hughes

 

 

 

英文原文內容逐字稿(與中文稿有出入)

I couldn’t recall the detail of the conference I attended in Taiwan last year, but I remember that there was this big discussion about ECFA. I was quite skeptical about ECFA. Was it necessary? Why do you even need ECFA, really? Even if you look at KMT, the impact on GDP is relatively small, much smaller than predictions. And there are a lot of political arguments made about it. There are a lot political than economic I think, both sides, for and against. For the Ma administration, they had to show some progress on the cross-strait relations to get some support from Beijing. The arguments they made were that we have to compete with South Korea. This is not really an argument. If you’re competing with South Korea, it’s hopefully high-technology. Now that is already covered by WTO.

The big problem for Taiwan is not economic. I’m not an economist, but I speak in an economic sense. I’m not from Taiwan, you know…you know more about Taiwan. The problem is domestic, the structure of Taiwanese industry, the business practices, and financial sectors. The fact that it’s very easy for Taiwanese businesses is to use cheap labor and land in China. It means that there’s no incentive to upgrade Taiwanese industry, so the more businesses in China, the less incentive to actually restructure Taiwan’s own domestic industry. And so essentially, Taiwan is losing its technology now, very little, in terms of new developments in products. And you have a lot of advantages in the language and so on. It’s much easier for Taiwanese businesses to work in China, much easier than South Korea.

So the argument they hold, you know, that the South Korea got this trade agreement with China. If we don’t have one we’d be frozen up. I don’t think these arguments really stand up, they’re more political. That was one of the big arguments Ma’s administration made over ECFA constantly. And during the election in 2008, it was a big part of Ma’s campaign that South Korea signed FTA with China, and have much easier access to China’s market and we’ll be frozen up from south east Asia. I don’t think it’s really economical thought, it’s much more political. It diverts the real attention away from the real problems, which is Taiwan itself. Domestics, manufacture, R&D. Also the financial sectors were still not properly reformed.

I think if you look at those issues, Taiwan has had a lot of advantages. Still, with china, the economy. Going back to… it wasn’t KMT who started, it was DPP. They speak open a lot to Chinese mainland economy. That was very easy. I mean it couldn’t go wrong, even I could run a business like that, I guess. So In some ways, it was good for Taiwan’s economy, but it was a bit too easy. It made Taiwan’s economy become very dependent on China. Not enough effort was put into the global aspect, with the EU, with the US. And all its attention is China, China, China. And that led to dependency, distortion, in economy.

So now the trade services agreement. You have to ask what is the need for this, who is going to really benefit from this? So who are the winners and losers? But it also deliberates political issues… what are the political implications for Taiwan. We’re all looking at Hong Kong, of course. And you can see there, what happens when you become dependent on Chinese economy. And it’s used for political leverage. To press freedom, to control the media, the academic freedom… all of these things are reflected by this huge economical leverage.

Q: Might Taiwan be the next Hong Kong after the Service Agreement is passed?

I would imagine that’s why those students are upset or worried. And I think there are a lot of good reasons for that, and it’s up to the government of Taiwan to ensure that it’s done properly with the safe guards. And I don’t think there’s any trust in Ma’s administration. I mean, what’s their intention? What does Ma really want? Group of advisors were around him.

The Agreement hasn’t passed (when I was in Taiwan), but it was being discussed last year. I go every year to Taiwan to do some research, to China as well, to see both sides.

You can’t separate economic influence from political influence because china’s policy is clearly to use economic influence for its political purposes. It’s China’s official policy to use economic influence to achieve unification. That’s an open public policy, there’s no secret about that. So there’s no separation. The question there is: how does Taiwan deal with that? Do you pretend, “oh there’s a separation, that these are purely pragmatic economic matters, we can separate it from politics.” You can’t state that. That’s not how they see it in Beijing at all. For them, economics and politics are the same thing. It goes back a long way for the Chinese communist party.

Q: Is the connection with other nations apart from China possible?

I think it’s possible, and it’s worth a try, but Ma’s administration hasn’t even tried it. Their policy all along… if you look at Ma’s policy, which really goes back to 2005, 胡連會, where they had the agreement. That’s really where this situation comes from. Ma’s policy in 2008, where he ran for the presidency, purely focused on the cross-strait relations. There was not really any foreign policy. There was only one page, you know, something… we’ll do something with America… but it was really nothing. If we can just get cross-strait relation right, that economic integration, would solve all out. And that’s what they thought it, and voted it… to give it a try. The idea was that if we have these good economic relations, we would build up trust with Beijing, then we will somehow gradually get more international space, but it was never explained how it worked or why would Beijing want to do this. It was really built on trust from the 胡連會.

Well, you know a lot of people believe that, and it may have worked in a short term to release some pressure on Taiwan. But it’s not a long-term strategy. It lacks a foreign policy, it lacks defence policy… there’s no real, I mean, where is the diplomacy? I mean, if you’re in London, what does the Taiwan office (台灣代表處) do? They have meetings where they talk about the Qing dynasty. Very interesting, they never mentioned Taiwan.

We all know the limits. The UK is not going to recognize Taiwan as a state, I wish we would, but we are not going to because China will stop that. But there’s a lot of grey area where in the past Taiwan was able to achieve quite a lot international space, not diplomatic recognition but joining international organizations. And often it did require some courageous diplomacy, but it requires calling Beijing’s bluff. And Beijing would always threaten to go to wars, but Taiwan didn’t back down at that time.

As cross-strait relations improved, there were also some more international space. That was 李登輝’s strategy, back to 1990s. And 陳水扁, but they would never trust him whatever he did. He did try that strategy, but they didn’t trust him. But with Ma, when he came in 2008, he had a good opportunity because whatever he did, he could have done a lot more, because the deep fear of Beijing was that DPP comes back to power. He could have pushed forward more in international space. He could have… he didn’t try. There was no foreign policy. I think he lost the opportunity for Taiwan. He could have come back to something like李登輝’s strategy. For the DPP, it is very difficult because the Beijing government just won’t trust them because their party committed to the independence of Taiwan. That may change the future, and we don’t know what will happen in 2016. If Ma and KMT are working for Taiwan’s interest, they’d been thinking in long-term, they’ll try to have cross party consensus, domestic consensus, which should really focus on Taiwan’s interests, but I don’t see that at all. I see a policy that only based on one thing, which is keep DPP out, whatever that takes.

And another thing that worries me is that lots of people in KMT are really Chinese nationalists. And their hearts are really toward China’s unification and China. And they’re quite high up in KMT, and Ma could be one of them. So that rouses another issue: what is their intention? Is he just incompetent? That’s why he didn’t use his opportunity, or his intention is really to get some sort of agreement with 習近平? Getting Nobel Prize for unification? The conference I attended didn’t reflect the public opinions in Taiwan. People from previous generation are still with this mindset. How influential are they? I know there’re younger people who don’t like that… And the personal links with China, and how much time they spent there, whom they talked to… there’s a network as well. That is very China focused. That’s the product of China’s policy since 1979.

What does Taiwan do to balance that? Under 李登輝and 陳水扁, they tried to build democracy and constitutional reform, changing education system. This is a good strategy, to solid the Taiwanese democratic system and its identity. What does Ma do? Changing your textbooks’ facts, so you’re all Chinese! Constitutional reform? Where’s the strategy? Apart from saying: “Let’s be nice to China, they’ll be nice to us.” That’s not a strategy. He’s trying to deal with the pragmatic issues, economic issues… but we leave the political issues to the future. If you’re going to do that, you need a balancing strategy. To release a much better foreign policy, domestic policy, political policy, cultural policy, education policy, and defence policy. All of those issues are a mess in Taiwan. Defence policy doesn’t exist. You’re trying to develop volunteer services but it’s not working.

Trade is not the most important thing to national security. You need a well function political system. Democratization in Taiwan is not finished in the past 30 years. The constitution is a mess. The elections are free elections, but they are not fair elections because of the party financing. While KMT has sufficient wealth, DPP has very little. The last round of the political reform in the sea boundary was very unsatisfactory. It’s almost impossible for the DPP to win the elections. There are lots of problems still. Any democratic system needs reform constantly. Taiwan has pretty serious problems with the democratic system. Just to have votes and elections is not really democracy, is it? It’s a very uneven play in Taiwan, if you look at the party financing. Ultimately there’s the issue with the constitution because it’s a constitution written for China, not for Taiwan. Obviously it’s hard to change that, but it’s possible to find ways, like additional articles. Every time there’s a change, like finance or presidential elections, China threatens with attack but they didn’t.

As for the social situation, I don’t think it’s a strong society if everyone has to work very hard all the time, to pass the exams, to try to be productive and efficient but not allowed to do anything political at all. This is not a strong society. It may look strong on the surface but it’s very weak underneath. And Taiwan has a lot of strength building up its society, this was the consensus until recently. And it’s a shame if your generation feels that it’s making it weaker. I wouldn’t make judgment myself, but you’re from Taiwan, you should judge. I was just saying you have to be careful to make that judgment. I guess you could compare Taiwan with the US, the people there are more lazy, and more wasteful. And they spend even more time on politics, but they have very efficient economy, very productive.

Taiwan is at a different stage of development. One of the big problem still experience 1980s and 1990s. The economic growth very fast, just like in China now, people felt richer and richer every week. No economy can carry on like that for more than a period of time. Taiwan has passed that stage. What Taiwan is focused on is the service sector, like tourism, art and culture. And creative industry, which means also technology, and creating environment in which brilliant young scientist can really have the freedom to innovate and to make mistakes and do stupid things as well as things that are successful. That’s what Americans do. And we try to do it here, but in China it’s not like that.

How many inventions come from China? The one thing China is good at is getting foreign investment and producing large quantity of goods, quite high quality. Research and development is not good. It’s getting better but it’s still nothing like the US and Japan or Europe. Anyone who is a great scientist would immediately leave China and go somewhere else. First of all, he can’t breathe. Media freedom, democracy all go together. Scientists are human beings, too. They don’t always stay in the laboratory in the evening. They might want to go to a play, some music, go for a walk and get some fresh air. Children can grow up in a healthy environment. Beijing’s not like that. No matter how much money China invests in R&D, there’s no result. Now Taiwan is one of the best places to live in Asia. Any foreigner, businessmen, diplomats, wants to live in Taiwan because of the safe environment. You don’t have this communist party looking at you. Multi-nationalists prefer to live in Taiwan for their R&B, and that’s what Taiwan needs to build.

DPP has not been in power since 2008, and it’s not normal, so they still need to do a lot of work. The normal courses are distorted by the China factor. The tide is not on Taiwan’s side. If one party is in power for a long time, we can live with it. It’s not really healthy, but we can live with it, you know, some of the other parties will come back in. In Taiwan, with this China factor constantly distorting, one party is out for a long time. It develops different kinds of problems, so that makes a difference. So this is hard for Taiwanese democracy to function properly. The Chinese effect distorts everything. It requires very creative thinking to change the situation. Not going too far, but… not just giving in, and having no strategy at all. It’s very unclear what Ma’s strategy is, where his heart is, or what his intentions are, if he has any.

Perhaps you should be telling me what’s going on in Taiwan. You’re from Taiwan. You know much about it than I do. And it’s about your generation. What’s going to happen in your generation?

 

 

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http://opinion.cw.com.tw/blog/profile/187/article/1138

 

【英國特派員】林孟潔:服貿協議的草率令人震驚──剛與馬總統會面的倫敦政經學院教授Christopher Hughes談話記要

三月二十號禮拜四,倫敦時間上午十一點半,倫敦政治經濟學院國際關係系館Christopher Hughes教授的研究室裡,他手上拿著兩個禮拜前在台灣和馬英九總統的合照,照片裡他笑得有點窘,因為好像大家都不太願意跟總統握手,結果最後只好把他推向前去。

Christopher Hughes教授十分猶豫到底應不應該把這張照片上傳到個人網頁。他的研究興趣聚焦於中國外交政策、兩岸關係與國族認同,每年都會飛到東亞待一段時間做研究。禮拜四是他固定的OFFICE HOURS,本周正逢台灣服貿抗爭風波,作為研究兩岸關係、剛與馬總統會面的英國政治學者,他對此表達了觀察與想法。

以下為Christopher Hughes教授的談話記要:  

去年夏天我受邀至台灣的政府部門討論服貿協議,為其草率感到相當震驚,因為許多涉及重要且敏感的部門並沒有經過審慎的調查與評估,政府並沒有更仔細的檢視這個協議一旦通過所帶來經濟上隱含的意義和後果。

這讓我想起了ECFA。台灣的問題其實並不完全如政府所說的是在經濟上,而是馬政府從以前到現在所指稱的,如果不簽經濟協定,台灣就會落後南韓,這並不是全部的事實。馬政府從未真正提出一個對策和足以服人的論點來說服人民。

這些如果不簽就會導致失去競爭力的說法,其實只是讓政府找到藉口轉移注意力,不去正視問題的核心──台灣真正的問題是在國內的產業結構與財經部門並沒有很好的運作,亦缺乏對研發與創新部門的投資。當台灣的企業在過去很輕易的就得以登陸使用他們廉價的勞工和土地等,那長期下來其實並不太可能提供台灣自身產業創新的誘因,台灣正逐漸失去在科技和創新產業上所掌握的技術。其實台灣並不是沒有優勢,只是政府應該正視並對國內產業結構與整體環境進行調整,提出實際應對的政策。

馬政府上台後更加深對中國的經濟依賴,而不去考量到台灣的其他可能性,例如,更加強與歐盟或美國的經貿合作,或者把台灣放入全球化的脈絡來思考其他的可能性。唯一強調的就是中國。所以現在的服貿協議,必須要問的問題是,到底為什麼需要這個,台灣真的需要嗎?誰會從中獲益?誰是贏家誰是輸家?這又牽涉到政治層面的問題,到底服貿協議隱含了怎樣的政治意涵。當台灣過度依賴中國這個經濟體,後果將會從經濟層面滲透到政治與社會,包含媒體、學術自由等。台灣有沒有可能變成第二個香港?

馬政府一廂情願地認為,只要我們對中國好,他們就會對我們好。然而事實上卻不是這個樣子。不可能將經濟政策的影響與政治上的影響切割開來,因為中國很顯然地就是在使用它的經濟影響力去達成它的政治目的,這是個公開的政策而非秘密。但問題在於,台灣如何去面對?你不可能假裝經濟歸經濟政治歸政治,兩者不相互影響,北京不是這樣想的。對他們而言,政治和經濟是同一件事。

台灣仍然有機會在中國的干預下與其他國家仍然有所連結,然而馬政府連嘗試都不願意。如果你看他的政策,其實很多源自2005年連戰胡錦濤會面時的討論框架。在2008年馬的競選中他單單聚焦於兩岸關係,事實上,對一個國家而言,這絕非真正的外交政策。經濟合作並非解決所有問題的萬靈丹。他總是認為,只要和北京保持良好經濟關係,取得其信任,那就可以漸漸爭取到更多在國際上發言的空間,但事實上這兩件事情並沒有關聯,永遠不可能知道北京是怎麼想的。

貿易並不是對於一個國家的生存而言唯一重要的事情。一個國家還需要良好運作的政治系統,台灣的民主化尚未完成,憲政秩序也一團糟。因於政黨在競選過程中募資能力的不同,選舉雖說是自由的,但並非公平。台灣的民主政治還有很多尚待解決的問題,單單是可以自由選舉、投票並非真正的民主,任何的民主政治系統都需要持續性的改革。

至於在社會現狀的層次,我不認為一個真正體質健全的社會是你永遠超時工作,非常有效率有生產力,認真讀書通過考試,但關心政治是不被允許的,當人們不太關心自己所身處的社會時,例如在中國,那並不是一個真正完善的公民社會。或許它表面上看起來是個很強大的社會,但事實上並不然。台灣近幾年達成了一個公民社會的共識,是民主化的過程讓台灣社會有達致這種社會共識的能力。

台灣錢淹腳目的年代已經不復存在,1980-90年代有一段時間我人在台灣,甚至連我這樣的局外人,都得以在當時高度經濟發展的台灣社會分一杯羹。每天每天人們變的更加富有,而那個在過去的台灣,經濟高速成長的時代是現在中國正在經歷的。台灣早已過了那樣的高速經濟發展階段,不可能再重返。然而,必須注意的是,在追求經濟發展的同時,執政者不能只將政策聚焦於經濟成長本身,而必須注意許多層次,所有可以讓生活變得更好的地方:服務業、旅遊、藝術、文化等產業,凡舉此些具備創造性(creative industry)的產業,需要政府去經營一個良好的環境,吸引真正有創新能力的人才,必須要有自由的環境,可以不斷的嘗試錯誤和失敗,之後才能有機會成功而達致創新,創新才是讓經濟向前的核心動力。這是美國所提供的環境。

但中國並不是這樣的地方,你能夠數出多少真正具有原創性和創新的產品/技術是完全源自中國?中國擅長的地方,是吸引外資,以及量產(非原創性)商品,研究發展部門(Research and Development)是羸弱的,雖然在近些年有好轉,但仍然遠遠不及美國、日本與歐洲。但好的人才、有能力創新的人才,大部分都不願意留在中國,他們都去了別的地方。為什麼要留在中國?很重要的一點是,對於那些有創新能力的人才而言,他們甚至不能夠自由的呼吸。媒體、言論、民主等自由是不可能置外於追求經濟創新的整體環境的。例如,科學家也不是總是待在實驗室裡,晚上他們可能會想去散步、去看戲去聽音樂會、呼吸新鮮空氣,希望他們的孩子在安全的環境下長大。並不是單單把錢砸在研究機構裡就可以。中國砸了多少錢在研發創新部門但卻不能夠達致相對應的成效,關鍵便是肇因於此。

台灣是在亞洲最適合居住的城市之一,很多從事商業或外交等的外國人,或具備創新能動性的外國人才,會十分傾向留在台灣。然而,我並看不出來馬政府有任何更具體的策略去營造把人才留在台灣的環境。

在台灣另一個令人憂心的問題是嚴重的藍綠惡鬥。在美國,縱然民主黨與共和黨視對方為競爭對手,但仍然是可以相互溝通甚至握手言和的。因其歷史淵源,或許民進黨仇視國民黨是比較可以理解的,但雙方依舊是為了反對而反對。李登輝時代降低了兩黨間的分歧,推動憲政改革,發展出基本的共識。據我所知中國和部分國民黨人士並不喜歡他。但如果仔細評估李登輝時代所替台灣做到的許多事情,是不可以輕忽其貢獻的。

民進黨的問題在於它深陷於過去的歷史,沉浸在80、90年代的民主運動的氛圍和脈絡裡,那很重要沒有錯,但我並不清楚,那些沉重的過去對你們這個世代到底有多重要,年輕的世代與上個世代並不同,你們並沒有活過那樣的年代,你們思考更現實的問題,關於如何找到工作、獲得多少薪水、或者追求自己生存的基本保障等。如果檢視民進黨的權力結構,很大一部分仍然為五六十歲的人所掌控,糾葛於自身過去的歷史與記憶。民進黨需要更多年輕世代真正進入權力結構的中心,它需要改變,需要往前走而非總是糾纏在過去的民主運動史的記憶與經驗之中。

全世界的民主國家都正在面臨一個問題:年輕人並不關心政治。這也是為什麼在許多國家選舉時,候選人偏好提出利於老年的政策和預算偏向,因為他們知道,年輕人不投票,再爭取也只是枉然。年輕世代應該尋求更大程度的政治參與,民進黨需要年輕世代的意見,國民黨也同樣需要年輕人的參與,以擺脫其中許多根深蒂固的中國國族主義的影響。政黨政治的循環是這樣,以英國為例,在1997年工黨勝選以前,保守黨執政了十八年,有可能十五到二十年權力皆為同一個政黨所掌控,這並不是罕見的現象,輪替是一個痛苦的過程,會迫使一個政黨仔細檢視它在政策運作、領導權力結構上的缺失。在下一次選舉時再尋求改進。

台灣的問題在於,無法置外於中國因素(China Factor)的影響,它扭曲了正常的政黨政治和民主程序。在政黨政治較為良好運作的國家,我們可以確信,就算一黨掌握了相當長時間的政治權力,總有一天,它若不夠兢兢業業,必然會有失勢的一天。然而,時間的優勢並不在台灣這一邊,台灣並沒有這樣的奢侈可以想要擁有多少時間就擁有多少時間去妥善處理中國因素。政府又提不出一個更具體的方案來妥善處理現況。民主要良好的運作對台灣而言是艱難的,因為中國因素過份地影響了台灣的政黨政治。需要非常有創造力的思考和應對,才能尋求新的出路和可能。然而現在的政府看起來是全然地放棄,根本毫無任何的策略可言。

誰知道台灣的下一個世代會變得怎麼樣?

更好或更壞,這就交給年輕世代來處理和面對。

這秩序繽紛的世界/就留給你整理。

(作者為台大歷史系/政治系四年級 英國倫敦政經學院訪問學生;英文逐字稿部分由台大外文系四年級/現為德國杜賓根大學訪問學生林欣蓓整理)

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★ 英文原文內容逐字稿

I couldn’t recall the detail of the conference I attended in Taiwan last year, but I remember that there was this big discussion about ECFA. I was quite skeptical about ECFA. Was it necessary? Why do you even need ECFA, really? Even if you look at KMT, the impact on GDP is relatively small, much smaller than predictions. And there are a lot of political arguments made about it. There are a lot political than economic I think, both sides, for and against. For the Ma administration, they had to show some progress on the cross-strait relations to get some support from Beijing. The arguments they made were that we have to compete with South Korea. This is not really an argument. If you’re competing with South Korea, it’s hopefully high-technology. Now that is already covered by WTO. 

The big problem for Taiwan is not economic. I’m not an economist, but I speak in an economic sense. I’m not from Taiwan, you know…you know more about Taiwan. The problem is domestic, the structure of Taiwanese industry, the business practices, and financial sectors. The fact that it’s very easy for Taiwanese businesses is to use cheap labor and land in China. It means that there’s no incentive to upgrade Taiwanese industry, so the more businesses in China, the less incentive to actually restructure Taiwan’s own domestic industry. And so essentially, Taiwan is losing its technology now, very little, in terms of new developments in products. And you have a lot of advantages in the language and so on. It’s much easier for Taiwanese businesses to work in China, much easier than South Korea.

So the argument they hold, you know, that the South Korea got this trade agreement with China. If we don’t have one we’d be frozen up. I don’t think these arguments really stand up, they’re more political. That was one of the big arguments Ma’s administration made over ECFA constantly. And during the election in 2008, it was a big part of Ma’s campaign that South Korea signed FTA with China, and have much easier access to China’s market and we’ll be frozen up from south east Asia. I don’t think it’s really economical thought, it’s much more political. It diverts the real attention away from the real problems, which is Taiwan itself. Domestics, manufacture, R&D. Also the financial sectors were still not properly reformed. 

I think if you look at those issues, Taiwan has had a lot of advantages. Still, with china, the economy. Going back to… it wasn’t KMT who started, it was DPP. They speak open a lot to Chinese mainland economy. That was very easy. I mean it couldn’t go wrong, even I could run a business like that, I guess. So In some ways, it was good for Taiwan’s economy, but it was a bit too easy. It made Taiwan’s economy become very dependent on China. Not enough effort was put into the global aspect, with the EU, with the US. And all its attention is China, China, China. And that led to dependency, distortion, in economy.

So now the trade services agreement. You have to ask what is the need for this, who is going to really benefit from this? So who are the winners and losers? But it also deliberates political issues… what are the political implications for Taiwan. We’re all looking at Hong Kong, of course. And you can see there, what happens when you become dependent on Chinese economy. And it’s used for political leverage. To press freedom, to control the media, the academic freedom… all of these things are reflected by this huge economical leverage. 

Q: Might Taiwan be the next Hong Kong after the Service Agreement is passed?

I would imagine that’s why those students are upset or worried. And I think there are a lot of good reasons for that, and it’s up to the government of Taiwan to ensure that it’s done properly with the safe guards. And I don’t think there’s any trust in Ma’s administration. I mean, what’s their intention? What does Ma really want? Group of advisors were around him. 

The Agreement hasn’t passed (when I was in Taiwan), but it was being discussed last year. I go every year to Taiwan to do some research, to China as well, to see both sides. 

You can’t separate economic influence from political influence because china’s policy is clearly to use economic influence for its political purposes. It’s China’s official policy to use economic influence to achieve unification. That’s an open public policy, there’s no secret about that. So there’s no separation. The question there is: how does Taiwan deal with that? Do you pretend, “oh there’s a separation, that these are purely pragmatic economic matters, we can separate it from politics.” You can’t state that. That’s not how they see it in Beijing at all. For them, economics and politics are the same thing. It goes back a long way for the Chinese communist party. 

Q: Is the connection with other nations apart from China possible?

I think it’s possible, and it’s worth a try, but Ma’s administration hasn’t even tried it. Their policy all along… if you look at Ma’s policy, which really goes back to 2005, 胡連會, where they had the agreement. That’s really where this situation comes from. Ma’s policy in 2008, where he ran for the presidency, purely focused on the cross-strait relations. There was not really any foreign policy. There was only one page, you know, something… we’ll do something with America… but it was really nothing. If we can just get cross-strait relation right, that economic integration, would solve all out. And that’s what they thought it, and voted it… to give it a try. The idea was that if we have these good economic relations, we would build up trust with Beijing, then we will somehow gradually get more international space, but it was never explained how it worked or why would Beijing want to do this. It was really built on trust from the 胡連會. 

Well, you know a lot of people believe that, and it may have worked in a short term to release some pressure on Taiwan. But it’s not a long-term strategy. It lacks a foreign policy, it lacks defence policy… there’s no real, I mean, where is the diplomacy? I mean, if you’re in London, what does the Taiwan office (台灣代表處) do? They have meetings where they talk about the Qing dynasty. Very interesting, they never mentioned Taiwan.

We all know the limits. The UK is not going to recognize Taiwan as a state, I wish we would, but we are not going to because China will stop that. But there’s a lot of grey area where in the past Taiwan was able to achieve quite a lot international space, not diplomatic recognition but joining international organizations. And often it did require some courageous diplomacy, but it requires calling Beijing’s bluff. And Beijing would always threaten to go to wars, but Taiwan didn’t back down at that time. 

As cross-strait relations improved, there were also some more international space. That was 李登輝’s strategy, back to 1990s. And 陳水扁, but they would never trust him whatever he did. He did try that strategy, but they didn’t trust him. But with Ma, when he came in 2008, he had a good opportunity because whatever he did, he could have done a lot more, because the deep fear of Beijing was that DPP comes back to power. He could have pushed forward more in international space. He could have… he didn’t try. There was no foreign policy. I think he lost the opportunity for Taiwan. He could have come back to something like李登輝’s strategy. For the DPP, it is very difficult because the Beijing government just won’t trust them because their party committed to the independence of Taiwan. That may change the future, and we don’t know what will happen in 2016. If Ma and KMT are working for Taiwan’s interest, they’d been thinking in long-term, they’ll try to have cross party consensus, domestic consensus, which should really focus on Taiwan’s interests, but I don’t see that at all. I see a policy that only based on one thing, which is keep DPP out, whatever that takes. 

And another thing that worries me is that lots of people in KMT are really Chinese nationalists. And their hearts are really toward China’s unification and China. And they’re quite high up in KMT, and Ma could be one of them. So that rouses another issue: what is their intention? Is he just incompetent? That’s why he didn’t use his opportunity, or his intention is really to get some sort of agreement with 習近平? Getting Nobel Prize for unification? The conference I attended didn’t reflect the public opinions in Taiwan. People from previous generation are still with this mindset. How influential are they? I know there’re younger people who don’t like that… And the personal links with China, and how much time they spent there, whom they talked to… there’s a network as well. That is very China focused. That’s the product of China’s policy since 1979. 

What does Taiwan do to balance that? Under 李登輝and 陳水扁, they tried to build democracy and constitutional reform, changing education system. This is a good strategy, to solid the Taiwanese democratic system and its identity. What does Ma do? Changing your textbooks’ facts, so you’re all Chinese! Constitutional reform? Where’s the strategy? Apart from saying: “Let’s be nice to China, they’ll be nice to us.” That’s not a strategy. He’s trying to deal with the pragmatic issues, economic issues… but we leave the political issues to the future. If you’re going to do that, you need a balancing strategy. To release a much better foreign policy, domestic policy, political policy, cultural policy, education policy, and defence policy. All of those issues are a mess in Taiwan. Defence policy doesn’t exist. You’re trying to develop volunteer services but it’s not working. 

Trade is not the most important thing to national security. You need a well function political system. Democratization in Taiwan is not finished in the past 30 years. The constitution is a mess. The elections are free elections, but they are not fair elections because of the party financing. While KMT has sufficient wealth, DPP has very little. The last round of the political reform in the sea boundary was very unsatisfactory. It’s almost impossible for the DPP to win the elections. There are lots of problems still.  Any democratic system needs reform constantly. Taiwan has pretty serious problems with the democratic system. Just to have votes and elections is not really democracy, is it? It’s a very uneven play in Taiwan, if you look at the party financing. Ultimately there’s the issue with the constitution because it’s a constitution written for China, not for Taiwan. Obviously it’s hard to change that, but it’s possible to find ways, like additional articles. Every time there’s a change, like finance or presidential elections, China threatens with attack but they didn’t. 

As for the social situation, I don’t think it’s a strong society if everyone has to work very hard all the time, to pass the exams, to try to be productive and efficient but not allowed to do anything political at all. This is not a strong society. It may look strong on the surface but it’s very weak underneath. And Taiwan has a lot of strength building up its society, this was the consensus until recently. And it’s a shame if your generation feels that it’s making it weaker. I wouldn’t make judgment myself, but you’re from Taiwan, you should judge. I was just saying you have to be careful to make that judgment. I guess you could compare Taiwan with the US, the people there are more lazy, and more wasteful. And they spend even more time on politics, but they have very efficient economy, very productive. 

Taiwan is at a different stage of development. One of the big problem still experience 1980s and 1990s. The economic growth very fast, just like in China now, people felt richer and richer every week. No economy can carry on like that for more than a period of time. Taiwan has passed that stage. What Taiwan is focused on is the service sector, like tourism, art and culture. And creative industry, which means also technology, and creating environment in which brilliant young scientist can really have the freedom to innovate and to make mistakes and do stupid things as well as things that are successful. That’s what Americans do. And we try to do it here, but in China it’s not like that. 

How many inventions come from China? The one thing China is good at is getting foreign investment and producing large quantity of goods, quite high quality. Research and development is not good. It’s getting better but it’s still nothing like the US and Japan or Europe. Anyone who is a great scientist would immediately leave China and go somewhere else. First of all, he can’t breathe. Media freedom, democracy all go together. Scientists are human beings, too. They don’t always stay in the laboratory in the evening. They might want to go to a play, some music, go for a walk and get some fresh air. Children can grow up in a healthy environment. Beijing’s not like that. No matter how much money China invests in R&D, there’s no result. Now Taiwan is one of the best places to live in Asia. Any foreigner, businessmen, diplomats, wants to live in Taiwan because of the safe environment. You don’t have this communist party looking at you. Multi-nationalists prefer to live in Taiwan for their R&B, and that’s what Taiwan needs to build.

DPP has not been in power since 2008, and it’s not normal, so they still need to do a lot of work. The normal courses are distorted by the China factor. The tide is not on Taiwan’s side. If one party is in power for a long time, we can live with it. It’s not really healthy, but we can live with it, you know, some of the other parties will come back in. In Taiwan, with this China factor constantly distorting, one party is out for a long time. It develops different kinds of problems, so that makes a difference. So this is hard for Taiwanese democracy to function properly. The Chinese effect distorts everything. It requires very creative thinking to change the situation. Not going too far, but… not just giving in, and having no strategy at all. It’s very unclear what Ma’s strategy is, where his heart is, or what his intentions are, if he has any. 

Perhaps you should be telling me what’s going on in Taiwan. You’re from Taiwan. You know much about it than I do. And it’s about your generation. What’s going to happen in your generation?

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