[3200] Editorial: The reason why “salami tactics” are so frightening

Taiwan Church News
3200 Edition
June 24-June 30, 2013

Editorial: The reason why “salami tactics” are so frightening

Translated by Lydia Ma

The recent signing of a cross-strait service trade by the Ma administration and Beijing under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a sign that the dangerous tiger we call ECFA is on the prowl. Under this service trade pact, Beijing has requested that Taipei allow many “non-designated professions” to come and set shop or invest in Taiwan. Examples of these professions include hairdressers, caterers, logistics, warehousing, publishers, funeral homes, etc. The list of professions ranges from services rendered to people from birth to death and in sickness and in old age.

China may well be the only country in the world that dares to ask our government to allow foreigners to invest in these industries. We can expect an influx of Chinese workers to come to Taiwan in the near future to invest and seek permanent residency. Once cheap labor becomes easily available inside Taiwan through Chinese workers, we can expect the already struggling Taiwanese labor force go into higher unemployment. Though manufacturing companies in Taiwan have been hit the hardest with unemployment in the past few years, once Chinese cheap labor becomes available, we can expect unemployment to spill over into the service sector as well.

President Ma Ying-jeou has really been bending over backwards in his attempts to help and serve his Chinese “compatriots”. The way in which Ma and Beijing have attempted to strip away and conquer us is reminiscent of Hitler’s “salami tactics” (also known as the salami-slice strategy). During World War II, Hitler used this clever strategy to annex neighboring countries. The “salami-slice strategy” involves eliminating one’s opponent “slice by slice” until the other side realizes too late that it is too late. Using this strategy, Hitler would calculate and time his moves precisely and smoothly so that they would reach just a tad short of the tipping point for his neighboring countries. Hence, these countries were never provoked to the point of taking action and they were virtually caught unaware of the true extent of their losses. Now, decades later, it seems Beijing has learned to threaten Taiwan using the same maneuver.

Surveys conducted in June of 2013 reveal that more than 80 percent of Taiwanese people believe that this cross-strait service trade should be scrutinized clause-by-clause by the Legislative Yuan. Furthermore, 62% of Taiwanese people disagree with KMT honorary chairman Wu Poh-hsiung’s recent meeting with China’s President Xi Jin-ping about a “One-China Framework”. However, the Ma administration seems to know that Taiwanese people will mind their own selfish business at the end of the day and they have passed one pro-China policy after another in recent months.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who was also an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler and spent the last 7 years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. He is best remembered for the following poem, which we would do well to remember and reflect:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

When ECFA was first negotiated in 2010, the PCT invited Taiwan Thinktank CEO Chen Poh-chih to speak on what ECFA would mean for Taiwan. Chen described ECFA as a “beautifully wrapped box with a dangerous tiger inside” to stress how ECFA would harm Taiwan. In related news, the State Administration for Religious Affairs of P.R.C. recently stated that one of its main missions for the year 2013 is to “instruct” the China Christian Council and the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China in how they should collaborate with Taiwanese Christian churches in a cross-strait religious forum to be held in Taiwan. Hence, a word of caution to my dear friends in the Christian church in Taiwan: As you blindly and passionately go about evangelistic missions with China, have you let yourself become an instrument of China’s salami-strategy?