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Thu, Jan 06, 2000 - Page 3 News List

DPP claims Hsu's attacks based on old KMT rhetoric

PLAYING POLITICS Hsu Hsin-liang has taken aim at DPP presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian, saying that a DPP president would upset the cross-strait balance, a strategy commonly used by the KMT

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The KMT and independent presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) aren't the only ones trading accusing remarks these days. The DPP is now fending off attacks from a former party chairman in a fight between old comrades separated by differing political paths.

Former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (3信良), who quit the party last May to run as an independent presidential candidate after losing the party's nomination, yesterday took aim at DPP presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian (3?糮?, saying the Taiwan Strait will become a war zone if Chen is elected as the new president.

But Chen campaign spokesman Chiu Yi-jen (邱義?? took issue with the attack, saying that differences in cross-strait policy did not differ considerably between the three front-running candidates.

He appealed to Hsu to refrain from attacking the DPP by playing the so-called "stability card" strategy -- a tactic normally used by the KMT during elections.

Hsu made the comment yesterday during a live radio interview, during which he also criticized others over the cross-strait issue.

"To leave aside the sovereignty issue is the best way for Taiwan's new president," Hsu said.

Hsu pointed out that regardless of KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan's (3s戰) vow to follow President Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) "state-to-state" model, or Soong's use of a "quasi-international relationship" to define relations with China, both will cause disputes between China and Taiwan and add tension to the cross-strait relationship.

"Chen pledged in his `constitutional reform white paper' that a new Constitution would enshrine the notion that `Taiwan is an independent sovereign nation.' That will be even more dangerous than President Lee's two-states model,' because China will be very angry and the US may let go [abandon Taiwan]," Hsu said.

He said that Chen's policy stance was either the result of understanding nothing about the consequences of such an action, or was a case of trying to cheat voters.

DPP leaders responded to Hsu's accusations by saying that Chen has only advocated holding a national constitutional reform meeting to discuss what national issues should be on the agenda, and that the direction and results of such a conference would be decided by the participants as a whole.

"We appeal to Hsu to thoroughly read through all of Chen's white paper before making any comments," Chiu said. He also stressed that the KMT had in the past used China's threat of force to gain support for its candidate "by stating that peace in the Taiwan Strait would be in doubt if a DPP candidate won the election."

"We do not believe that former chairman Hsu, who helped DPP candidates against the KMT, and who had once criticized its `stability card' strategy, should use the same tactic to attack the DPP," Chiu said.

Some DPP leaders have voiced concerns that the KMT may have helped Hsu in his signature drive, and that the party has encouraged Hsu to attack Chen in the process.

In fact, DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) last year appealed to Hsu publicly to not take money from Lien Chan. Hsu has vehemently denied accepting funds from the vice president.

One of Hsu's campaign staff said yesterday that the DPP should not suspect their candidate's motives just because it faced criticism over its policies.

"The signatures [in Hsu's signature drive] have come from people belonging to several political parties, not only the KMT. They signed to support Hsu because they agree with his platform," said Hsu's campaign staff.

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