At the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) chairmanship hand-over ceremony yesterday afternoon, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said he expected Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, to hold a large-scale debate soon on the party's political line and China policy. He also said he hoped that Yu could persuade former chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) not to leave the party.
It has been a tradition for DPP members to debate all sorts of issues and the DPP has never been a patriarchal party or one where "a single person alone has say," Chen said. "We have debated on the `boldly go west' issue and I believe that it is a healthy way to work out a common ground from different ideas."
"It is true that the DPP currently has divergent views about its political lines and policies on China," he said. "So, I hope that Yu can make it a priority to hold a large-scale debate on these two issues to determine a consensus systematically and rationally."
"Only when the DPP reaches common conclusions on crucial policies can the second economic development committee be supported by the public," he said.
"Hopefully, the committee will be able to delineate a more complete and clearer blueprint for the country's future economic and trade development," he said.
Chen also urged Yu to persuade Lin to stay on.
"Lin will forever be a spiritual leader and moral example for the party," Chen said. "His leaving is absolutely the gravest loss and truly regretful for the DPP."
Chen said it is both admirable and touching to see Lin, who sacrificed so much for Taiwan's democratic movement and who has not sought fame or wealth, is still concerned about the party and the country.
Chen said he agreed with Premier Su Tseng-chang's (
"Getting things done well is the most important thing," Chen said.
"I expect governmental leaders to have their own ideas and not to be bothered by news stories and other distracts," Chen said. "Getting criticized is unavoidable when implementing new policies. But I believe that Su will agree that a government that gets criticized is not a do-nothing government."
At the hand-over ceremony at the DPP headquarters, the acting chairwoman, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), passed on the party seal to Yu after he was formally sworn in as DPP chairman.
Su, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang (