Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 8 News List

The DPP's resolution paves way for progress

By Chai Trong-rong 蔡同榮

Does the "normal country" resolution mean progress or recession? My answer is: Progress, for these three reasons.

First, holding a referendum is proactive. In 1986, when the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was established, it emphasized in its platform that it wanted to establish a sovereign, independent Republic of Taiwan and write a new constitution based on the principles of sovereignty of the people. The DPP strove for the holding of a referendum to establish the Republic of Taiwan. However, to adapt to diplomatic changes abroad, in 1999 the DPP adopted the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future," which stated that Taiwan is named "Republic of China" in the Constitution and any change to this must be decided by Taiwanese by means of a referendum. This is a passive approach to preventing any changes to the nation's status.

The new "normal country" resolution changes this passive referendum into a proactive one.

The first part of the resolution emphasizes that at an appropriate time, a referendum should be held to show that Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country.

When Taiwanese think the time is right, a referendum can be held to determine whether Taiwan is a sovereign, independent country.

Second, the resolution advocates discarding the name "Republic of China." The "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" respected the fact that Taiwan is officially named "Republic of China," but the "normal country" resolution wants to do away with this name.

The first part of this resolution states that the DPP intends to rectify the name and write a new constitution "as soon as possible." "Rectifying the name" means changing the name the "Republic of China."

But in order to change the name, Taiwan will have to go through a lengthy process of amending or rewriting the Constitution. But before doing so, Taiwan should first abandon the "Republic of China" or minguo calendar that begins with the fall of the Qing dynasty and instead adopt the Gregorian calendar.

This is what the second part of the new resolution advocates: Taiwan should use the Gregorian calendar, in line with the rest of the world.

Third, the resolution talks about listening to public opinion. For the drafting of past resolutions, the DPP rarely invited opinions from groups outside the DPP. But the third part of this resolution states that the government should promote identification with the country and the land. It continues by saying that the government should actively promote local culture and languages and implement the localization of education.

The fourth part of the resolution says national security, social justice and sustainable development should be prerequisites for economic development, and economic development should allow Taiwanese to live happy, dignified lives. Thus, the resolution advocates a government that listens to the people.

These three points of the "normal country" resolution are proof that the DPP is advancing with the times.

Chai Trong-rong is a Democratic Progressive Party legislator and a member of the task force that drafted the "normal country" resolution.

Translated by Anna Stiggelbout

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