Mon, Jul 13, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP members face censure for going to forum

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members who attended this weekend’s Fifth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in China against the wishes of their party were the center of attention as the two-day forum drew to a close yesterday.

A minor scuffle broke out between reporters and Chinese officials in the morning after former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (?Q) was pulled away from reporters by another DPP member when she was being interviewed.

Hsu and former Council of Agriculture minister Fan Chen-tsung (范振宗) received VIP treatment during the forum, sharing front row seats with several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) deputy chairmen at the opening ceremony as well as the discussions.

DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Hsu and Fan would face a review and censure upon their return.

“Although Fan and Hsu are senior members of the DPP, they will be penalized according to party regulations for disrespecting the party’s position,” Tsai said in Chiayi County yesterday during a rally in support of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office representative He Zhi-jun (賀之軍) said that Fan and Hsu were invited by the Chinese Communist Party “through friends,” adding: “We have made a lot of friends over the years.”

Hsu, who is nicknamed “DPP Grandma,” was approached by Taiwanese reporters for an interview while visiting the Song Dynasty-era Yuelu Academy in Changsha with other Taiwanese delegates.

“DPP members should visit China more often and get to know it. Taiwan independence is not the whole of Taiwan’s culture and the KMT is not all of Taiwan,” Fan said.

However, when Hsu began to speak Rising People Foundation president and a member of Fan’s 11-person DPP delegation, Weng Yuan-yi (翁元一), pulled her away from the reporters.

Asked why, Weng said: “I am her assistant … Grandma is old.”

Fan said later that Hsu had been taken away from the scene by a friend and that the gesture contained no malice: “The media should not blow this incident out of proportion.”

The KMT-CCP forum attracted 500 delegates, including 270 from Taiwan. It was cohosted by the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), and KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄).

“Beijing believes that as long as the two sides of the Taiwan Strait continue to solidify and deepen their political trust in each other, and work on creating positive conditions, we will continue to resolve other problems in the cross-strait situation,” Jia said yesterday.

KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), a KMT deputy chairman, said six articles had been drawn up in a Memorandum of Understanding, including promoting cross-strait cultural exchanges, pushing for educational and media exchanges and supporting Taiwanese businesses in China.

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