Tue, Jan 18, 2011 - Page 8 News List

DPP must seek unity at congress

By Liu Shih-chung 劉世忠

This clearly shows that the KMT and CCP are working together to force the DPP to frame its debate over China policy in terms that refer to the “1992 consensus” and the “one China” principle.

How should the DPP react to such a challenge?

The party has three choices. The first is to accept the “1992 consensus,” but few DPP leaders are willing do so.

The second approach is to redefine the consensus that was reached between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and ARATS in 1992. The administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) once used the term “1992 spirit” as a replacement for “1992 consensus” in late 2004, with the hope of resuming political talks with China.

Another example is Hsieh’s re-characterization of his earlier “constitutionally one China” formula into a more flexible phrase that accepts “separate constitutional interpretations with implicit acceptance of one China.” Both approaches have met with heavy criticism from within the pan-green camp and China may not want to deal with them either.

The last option is to be more patient and pragmatic in forging domestic consensus, thereby avoiding the need to jump into a potentially damaging debate over the “1992 consensus” before the presidential campaign starts.

If the DPP’s chances of winning the 2012 presidential election increase, Beijing will have to reach a new political understanding with the party. The two sides should increase communication through think tank channels or indirect conversations. It is still too early for the DPP to show its cards.

Liu Shih-chung is a senior research fellow at the Taipei-based Taiwan Brain Trust.

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