Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday expressed their disapproval of calls to freeze the Taiwanese independence clause in the party’s charter, a day before a party meeting scheduled for a discussion on the proposed freeze.
Tsai said the independence clause has been the party’s objective since its foundation, and it is also the ideal that party members and most Taiwanese have been pursuing.
With Taiwan’s democratization, the “Taiwanese consciousness” has been determinedly formed and these values of identifying with Taiwan and insisting on the nation’s independence and autonomy have already become a “natural ingredient” of the younger generation, Tsai said.
“How are we to freeze or abolish this fact or state?” she asked.
Tsai responded to the recent calls to suspend the independence clause yesterday on Google Moderator, a service that helps crowdsource questions and determine which questions interest users the most.
The DPP has been using it as an open platform to engage people on public policy.
She said the reason cited by those who propose mothballing the independence clause has always been the worry that the DPP would not be able to deftly deal with issues concerning cross-strait relations.
“This is a myth,” Tsai said. “People have to ask the question of who really defines the so-called Taiwanese independence framed by the media. Are we not an independent nation? Isn’t consolidating our sovereignty and demanding more substantive participation in the international arena what most Taiwanese are calling for?”
Tsai said the Resolution on Taiwan’s Future (台灣前途決議文) has been the consensus within the party about Taiwan’s sovereignty, future and relationship with China, and it has also become a consensus among the Taiwanese public.
“The DPP, based on this consensus, is aiming for a cross-strait relationship that is more stable and consisting of quality interaction and mutual trust,” she added.
She said that the DPP would be more confident, positive and practical in its attitude and measures, “showing its stability and consistency.”
The party would continue insisting on the principle and position that cross-strait interactions, regardless of form, should not be allowed to damage Taiwan’s democracy, sovereignty or Taiwanese will to determine their own future, Tsai said.
Separately, Su wrote on Facebook yesterday that Taiwan is an independent nation and that its future is in the hands of its 23 million people.
It is the mainstream public opinion, a social consensus of the highest degree and the DPP’s longstanding principle, Su added.
He said that the party’s 2014 China Policy Review: Summary Report (對中政策檢討機要) released in January was the result of scores of conferences with thorough discussions involving more than 600 people that spanned several months. The conclusion has confirmed the fortitude of the DPP’s basic values and core stance.
“The DPP should have confidence in its stance and in Taiwan’s mainstream opinion, clarifying its attitude [whenever needed] to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding from the outside and confusion within the party,” Su wrote.
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