The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continued to run into difficulties as it proceeded with its search for members for its China Affairs Committee, amid reports of dissent within the party.
Former premier Yu Shyi-kun, who was invited by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to join the committee, yesterday said: “Since I voiced opposition to the establishment of the committee, it would be inappropriate to join it.”
Yu is the second party heavyweight to turn down membership in the committee after former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).
Meanwhile, Su, who is to be the committee’s convener, yesterday said the Chinese-language China Times distorted remarks he made in a report about an interview he had given on a local radio program on Friday.
“The host [of the show] asked me if there are some DPP members who want to pander to China and I answered that DPP members do not fawn on China, or they had better go to the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT],” Su said.
The chairman said the China Times report had distorted his comment by saying he was referring to Hsieh, which was not his meaning.
Meanwhile, DPP Central Executive Committee member Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) also yesterday dismissed a report by the same newspaper that had alleged that DPP politicians from different factions had dined together on Friday evening and agreed with former DPP legislator Lin Cho-shui’s (林濁水) proposal that a bill should be tabled in the coming Central Executive Committee meeting to change the China Affairs Committee from a regular body to a three-month task force.
The report said Cheng would lead the group and propose the bill.
Cheng said he agreed with the establishment of the cross-strait policy body and that the report was mistaken in saying he planned to propose a bill to change it.
Lin yesterday said that there had been a dinner, but it was a simple social event planned by former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良). The attendants did not discuss specific issues, nor make any party decisions, Lin added.
“Changing the China Affairs Committee to a three-month task force is my personal suggestion, not a conclusion that was reached at the dinner,” Lin said.
Lin added that the committee should deal with the DPP’s long-term China strategy, instead of regular cross-strait affairs.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has agreed to join the committee, said that she did not know what the design and mechanism of the China body would be, but she respected the party’s decision and would collaborate with it.
The party decided to establish the China Affairs Committee at its Central Standing Committee meeting on Wednesday. Under Su’s plan, the cross-strait agency would consist of seven to nine members and an advisory board, and would hold bimonthly meetings.
The China Affairs Committee was established to be a decisionmaking platform on the DPP’s engagement with the Chinese Communist Party.