Sun, Sep 13, 2015 - Page 8 News List

EDITORIAL: What makes the DPP different?

While Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians might have to accept the reality that Taiwan is under the administration of the Republic of China (ROC) government, some Changhua County members of the party may have gone a little too far by openly expressing their love of the ROC, which the party and its supporters seek to replace with a Taiwan-centric regime.

On Friday, a group of DPP political figures, including the party’s Changhua County chapter director-general Chen Chin-ting (陳進丁), former legislator Chiang Chao-yi (江昭儀), as well as county councilors Chiang Hsiung I-fung (江熊一楓) and Hsu Shu-wei (許書維) held a rally outside the train station in Yuanlin Township (員林), chanting “long live the ROC,” while holding ROC flags and a banner that read “The ROC is our nation.”

Speaking to the media, Chen even went as far as to say “loving Taiwan is loving the ROC, loving the ROC is loving Taiwan, because Taiwan is the ROC,” while urging DPP members across the nation to hang ROC flags outside their homes on Double Ten National Day.

Certainly, the DPP should accept the reality that the ROC is the nation’s government.

However, there is a big gap between accepting the reality with the intention of making a change and embracing the ROC to the extent of wishing it to wanshui (萬歲, “live 10,000 years”) and vowing to defend it.

Looking over the DPP’s history since its founding, it is not difficult to see how important “Taiwanese independence” — or at least creating a Taiwan-centric government — is.

The DPP was founded in 1986 as a coalition made up almost exclusively of social forces against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime.

However, in 1988, the party faced a split with pro-unification members when it adopted a resolution declaring that Taiwan is sovereign and independent, and that the DPP would advocate Taiwanese independence if the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party start unilateral negotiations, if the KMT betrays the interests of the people, if China seeks to unify with Taiwan or if the KMT would not implement genuine constitutional democracy.

In 1991, the DPP adopted a clause in its charter to start pushing for a new, Taiwan-centric constitution, as well as a referendum for independence.

Although the party took more moderate turns in 1999 and 2007, it never gave up its stance on pursuing a new constitution and a new nation.

In fact, some party members have proposed to officially abolish the so-called “Taiwan independence clause” in the party charter, though such proposals never won majority support within the party.

DPP politicians who wholeheartedly embrace the ROC and wish it to exist for 10,000 years must realize that the ideology of creating a sovereign and independent nation — or at least keeping Taiwan free from China — is what makes the DPP different from other major political parties.

It is often said that the pursuit of independence and opposition to nuclear energy are the two pillars of the DPP.

What difference would it make, then, to vote for the KMT or the DPP, after KMT Chairperson Eric Chu (朱立倫) declared that the party would support a “nuclear-free” Taiwan in the long run?

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