Tue, Mar 29, 2005 - Page 1 News List

DPP bashes KMT trip as `surrender'

THIRD TRY Although KMT-CCP coziness is not without precedent, the DPP said now it would represent a betrayal of the Taiwanese people's will

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Calling the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) visit to China a "trip of surrender," the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday said although the trip may usher in a "third round" of cooperation between the KMT and Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the visit will achieve nothing for the Taiwanese people.

The DPP was referring to two previous periods of KMT-CCP cooperation in China, in the 1920s and during World War II, when the parties formed a nominal alliance against the Japanese.

The KMT delegation, which left for China yesterday, is headed by KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤) and will stay in China for five days. The trip is ostensibly planned to allow the KMT to commemorate the memory of its founder, Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), on the 80th anniversary of his death, and -- if given the chance -- to meet with Chinese government officials.

DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said that the KMT is simply "paying tribute to the Chinese government."

"Chiang does not have the right to negotiate with the Chinese government about any topic on behalf of the government or the people of Taiwan," he said.

Another DPP caucus whip, Lai Ching-teh (賴清德), said that the trip will achieve nothing for the Taiwanese people, but will actually help alleviate the pressure they put on China through their strong opposition to the "Anti-Secession" Law at Saturday's march.

"I am calling on the KMT delegation not to seek individual or partisan interest at the expense of the welfare of the Taiwanese people," Lai said.

In addition to condemning Chiang's behavior as "ignorant," Lai called Lien "stupid" and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) "vile" for siding with the Chinese government in attacking the Chen administration.

Lai was referring to Lien's echoing of Chinese leaders' justifications for enacting the Anti-Secession Law.

Lai said that Ma not only refused the organizer's request to use the square in front of the Presidential Office for Saturday's march, but also undercounted the number of participants.

Lai said that Ma's claim that there were only 275,000 people at the march was an attempt to manipulate the figures reported by the media.

Lai also called on KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) to sit down and discuss government policies with President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), including a strategy for cross-strait relations.

"It's time that all political parties work together for the sake of the national interest and welfare of the Taiwanese people in the face of China's threat," Lai said. He added that the time is ripe for a second meeting between Chen and Soong.

In response, KMT caucus whip Chen Chieh (陳杰) called Lai's remarks "irrational" and said that he felt sorry and angry over the DPP's criticisms.

"I condemn and protest the DPP's shameless remarks, which I believe result from their jealousy over our ability to do something for the country," he said.

He said the KMT's stance on cross-strait relations was to facilitate peaceful developments between the two sides. He dismissed Lai's call for a meeting between Lien and the president, saying that the timing is not right and that he will not advise Lien to meet with Chen.

The KMT and the Chinese Communist Party first formed a strategic front in January 1924 when the Communists were allowed to join the KMT.

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