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《經濟學人》:馬英九面臨遭黨內孤立危險

占領國會3週的學生宣布退場時程之後,《經濟學人》8日評析,總統府的馬英九無疑地鬆了一口氣,然而,其領導的國民黨內部已出現分裂訊號;與中國的關係也有冷卻的危險。

《經濟學人》8日在「榕園論壇」(Banyan)博客發表文章《太陽花經》(Sunflower sutra)。文章提到,學生一度遭到鎮暴警察驅離,部份參與者受傷;3月30日又有數以萬計的群眾站到總統府前。

儘管馬政府3日通過了一套監督法案,部份回應學生訴求,但仍然拒絕先使監督法案生效。僵局一直持續到4月6日,立法院院長王金平承諾監督法案立法前不會審查〈海峽兩岸服務與貿易協議〉才出現轉機。

文中提到媒體高調報導王的承諾,但其主張顯然與馬政府背道而馳。馬英九的發言人李佳霏表示,對王的發言內容不知情。行政院發言人孫立群不認同王的承諾。「現在還不清楚下一步會發生什麼事。」

迄今馬政府一再強調〈服貿協議〉對台灣的經濟發展至關重要。不過其他觀察家卻說,如果馬持續對黨籍立委施壓,要求他們通過爭議的協議,在分崩離析的國民黨內,馬正招來自我孤立的風險。在野黨及許多憂心與中國經濟一體化的台灣民眾仍然堅定支持著王金平的承諾。

文章引述TVBS在4月2、3日的民調,有43%受訪者反對〈服貿協議〉,但有更多的受訪者(56%)認為學生應該結束或換地方抗爭。這意味著社會多數擔心國會癱瘓。東吳大學政治系學者劉必榮分析,為鞏固權力,王試著透過化解危機得到肯定,這最終將使王在2016年總統選舉前挑戰馬英九的黨內領導權。

馬王之爭在去年9月,馬企圖開除王金平黨籍時白熱化。上個月,有利於王的法院判決出爐,王得以繼續在國民黨。

接下來的馬王之爭,馬英九很可能節節敗退。《經濟學人》寫到,2008上台的馬英九將台灣的經濟復甦及自己的政治遺產兩樣東西賭在改善兩岸關係上,如果王金平的承諾兌現,「曠日費時的國會協商,協議甚至可能完全破局,將嚴重打擊馬之於中國的信用。現在離兩岸簽署協議,已經有9個月的時間了」。

學生占領國會3週,打亂了馬英九的兩岸交流進程。文章提到中國國務院台灣事務辦公室主任張志軍預定本月的歷史性訪台行程已經延後。這項1949年兩岸分治以來,中共官員首次正式訪台的邀請是2個月前兩岸官員南京會晤的延伸。中國觀察家說,北京政府希望在任何形式的和解之前,〈服貿協議〉能夠通過。「馬英九在任內與習近平會晤的夢想,恐怕已難以實現」。

大紀元記者黃捷瑄編譯報導 2014-04-08

 

The Economist: Sunflower sutra

MA YING-JEOU, Taiwan’s president, is no doubt relieved. After three weeks occupying the debating chamber of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan’s parliament, student protesters agreed on April 7th to end their sit-in within three days. Demonstrators have fought with riot police, and some have been injured; hundreds of thousands converged on the presidential office on March 30th. But signs of disunity are appearing in Mr Ma’s ruling party, the Kuomintang (or KMT). And relations with China are in danger of cooling.

The students’ occupation of parliament was in a bid to prevent the passage of an agreement allowing for freer trade in services with China. They argue that the pact was negotiated in secret and will allow China to gain greater political control over the island. One of their main demands was for a law allowing for greater public oversight of such cross-strait agreements, to be implemented before this particular services pact is passed. On April 3rd Mr Ma’s cabinet partially responded to this demand by approving a bill for monitoring such pacts with China—but still did not agree to the idea of enacting it first. It was only on April 6th, when Taiwan’s parliamentary speaker, Wang Jin-pyng, pledged to halt review of the services deal until such a law was enacted that the students agreed to call it a day.

Mr Wang’s promise (made, to much media fanfare, during a visit to the students in the debating chamber) was glaringly at odds with the stance of Mr Ma’s administration. Mr Ma’s spokeswoman, Garfie Li, said she had no idea that Mr Wang, a powerful figure in the KMT, had planned to say this. The cabinet’s spokesman, Sun Lih-chyun, did not agree with this pledge. It is unclear what will happen next. Officials say passage of the services pact, which opens sensitive industries including telecommunications and publishing to Chinese investment, is vital for Taiwan’s economic development and its participation in some regional trade blocs. But other observers say that Mr Ma risks isolating himself within the fractured KMT if he exerts more pressure on lawmakers to pass the contentious pact. The opposition and many Taiwanese, fearful of greater economic integration with China, still firmly support Mr Wang’s pledge. And not all students are ready to leave the chamber.

Some students say Mr Wang’s high-profile visit also generated expectations among the public that the protests would soon end. Even before his promise, a poll conducted between April 2nd and 3rd by TVBS, a broadcaster, suggested that many Taiwanese are weary of parliamentary paralysis. Fully 43% opposed the services pact—but more than half (56%) thought the students should either end their protest or take it to another venue. Oliver Chen, a student spokesman, says that their protest has now gained enough influence, but also that students are wilting. “Our comrades are really tired. We are physically and spiritually exhausted.”

Mr Ma and Mr Wang are bitter enemies. Their animosity intensified after Mr Ma attempted to expel Mr Wang from the party last September. Last month a court ruled in Mr Wang’s favour, allowing him to keep his party membership. Liu Bih-rong, a political scientist at Soochow University in Taipei, thinks Mr Wang is trying to win kudos for resolving the crisis in order to shore up his power. This would allow him eventually to challenge Mr Ma for dominance in the KMT ahead of presidential elections in 2016. If the monitoring bill is passed before the services pact, as Mr Wang has pledged, protracted parliamentary negotiations—and the possibility that the pact could be scrapped altogether—would seriously hurt Mr Ma’s credibility with China. Already nine months have passed since Taiwan and China concluded the pact.

Mr Ma, who has been in power since 2008, has staked both Taiwan’s economic recovery and his political legacy on the historic detente he has fostered with the mainland. A landmark visit by China’s minister for Taiwan affairs, Zhang Zhijun, planned for this month, has been postponed, say Taiwanese government officials. The trip would have been the first formal visit to Taiwan from a mainland official since 1949. The invitation to visit Taiwan was extended by Taiwan’s mainland minister when the two met in Nanjing nearly two months ago in the first meeting between Taiwanese and Chinese officials since the Chinese civil war. China watchers say the government in Beijing wants to see the services pact approved before it considers any other form of rapprochement, such as a proposed deal to liberalise the cross-strait goods trade. Mr Ma's dream of meeting China’s leader, Xi Jinping, before the end of his presidential term in 2016, may have become a little more distant.

2014-04-08 Banyan


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