Taiwan Infomercial Plays Up Fear of N.Korea-Style Isolation

      March 22, 2010 10:44

      The government of Taiwan is using the image of economically isolated North Korea to publicize a proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China. An infomercial broadcast in Taiwan on Thursday evening says the island nation "does not want to become a second North Korea" -- the only country in Asia excluded from all kinds of regional economic integration agreements.

      The 90-second infomercial was produced by the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top China policy coordinating body. "The description should allow the people in Taiwan to get a better picture of Taiwan's situation," MAC Vice Minister Liu Te-shun was quoted as saying by Focus Taiwan. The spot explains that if Taiwan signs the ECFA, businesses will be able to compete on equal terms with rivals abroad and that "Taiwan's sovereignty will be safeguarded only when the people's right to live is safeguarded."

      Taiwan is seeking to sign the ECFA within this year and the issue has become a rallying point of contention in upcoming local elections in December, which will set the tone for the presidential race in 2012. Critics say the ECFA is harmful to Taiwanese businesses, but the government is touting it as the best way to improve the island country's competitiveness.

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