Month: January 2010


What’s in an ECFA?

Dear Johnny,

After having read so much but learning so little about the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China, I have deduced that the real answers to its mystery lie within its acronym.

So, without more ado, I set out to decipher this Da Vinci Code and came up with these gems — in no particular order.


1. Economically Challenged Fraud Artists

2. Extraordinarily Crafted False Advertising

3. Eunuch Council of Formosan Affairs

4. Emporium for China’s Free-for-All (read: Taiwan)

5. Egregious Chinese Flimflam Agreement

6. Enter China Fomenting Ague

7. Easily Caught Formosa Asleep

8. European Coalition of les Francais et les Anglais (read: beer)

Then there’s the Regular ECFA with three noes, two yesses, one maybe and a no-holds-barred let-me-get-back-to-you should Taiwan not sign the agreement. With this one, put on your sunglasses and say, in Hoklo, “I don’t like the feeling of being a loser.”

Yeah, right: My Google-eyed neighbor across the puddle is pointing all those guns at my productivity, and I’m going to sign a business deal?

Like a true Wind Talker, I changed the order of the acronym and came up with this: FACE — Forego All Chinese Effrontery.

Finally, I had an epiphany. The real answer lies within this abbreviation.


Monty Python’s Formosan (flying, swimming, crawling, swallowing, choking, begging) Circus.

Now I may sleep well.

Kevin Robert Larson


Johnny replies: Didn’t Samuel Beckett write a play called Waiting for ECFA?

I think I might have read this somewhere, but all this ECFA stuff is beginning to resemble a cargo cult, except with the white people and Austronesian natives replaced by the Chinese market/government complex and Taiwanese industry.

We can expect that the thousands and thousands of temples and altars around this fair island will be physically…


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