The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is busy crafting a new resolution on "making Taiwan a normal country" to replace the party's existing "Resolution on Taiwan's Future." The proposal, together with the current resolution and its predecessor -- the "Taiwan Independence Clause" -- shows just how much the DPP's stance on cross-strait relations and the status of Taiwan has evolved over time.
The Taiwan Independence Clause was the fundamental principle upon which the DPP was founded. The clause underlined the DPP's founding ideals of pursuing independence and statehood for Taiwan. The ultimate goal was to have Taiwan formally declare independence under the name the "Republic of Taiwan." This ideal continues to be embraced and worshipped by many die-hard independence supporters, who view the party's subsequent modification of this stance as a sell-out.
For the party as a whole, modifying its platform on cross-strait relations was a hard but inevitable choice. Pressured on both sides by China and the US, a majority of Taiwanese feared that a formal declaration of independence would lead to war in the Taiwan Strait, and therefore preferred the so-called "status quo."
Just what exactly the "status quo" is is an interesting question, since it has kept on evolving. Taiwan's political "status quo" today is very different from that of decades ago. Simply put, preserving the "status quo" means Taiwan continuing to act as an independent country without calling itself such. The question is how long can Taiwan maintain this "status quo."
To implement and turn many of its ideals into reality, the DPP had to be elected to power first. Therefore, in 1999, the party passed the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," which acknowledges that Taiwan is already an independent country called the "Republic of China."
That was a major but essential compromise in the face of public concern over what would happen if the DPP's presidential candidate, Chen Shui-bian (
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