Key DPP China policy advisors voiced their support for economic integration across the Taiwan Strait yesterday.
"The party looks forward to economic integration with China in line with the trend of globalization," Yen Chien-fa (顏建發), director of the DPP's China affairs department, said yesterday at a seminar on cross-strait affairs.
Yen rebuffed charges by the opposition that the DPP's refusal to recognize the "one China" principle has blocked cross-strait dialogue, without which it is impossible to remove obstacles to direct trade links between the two sides.
Yen noted that the DPP has agreed to recognize the country's title as the Republic of China in accordance with the Constitution.
In 1999 the DPP, seeking to woo swing voters during last year's presidential election, toned down its pro-independence rhetoric by adopting a document called "the Resolution on Taiwan's Future."
The resolution calls for any change to Taiwan's status to be decided by a plebiscite.
"The cross-strait stalemate stems from Beijing's refusal to acknowledge the existence of the ROC," Yen said.
Echoing President Chen Shui-bian (
"It should be treated as an issue at the negotiating table rather than a precondition for resuming dialogue as Beijing has insisted," Yen said.
He warned that acceptance of the "one China" principle by Taiwan would lead the world to view cross-strait disputes as "domestic" in nature.
Still, he voiced support for an engagement approach to improving trade ties between the two sides.
To achieve that goal, DPP lawmaker Chang Chun-hung (
Chang, who just returned from a trip to China, said further delay would put the country in a less favorable bargaining position, as the giant neighbor has made remarkable economic progress.
"It is urgent that Taiwan adopt a more proactive policy toward China or it will soon lose its economic advantage," cautioned the DPP legislator.
Chang also said that over the years legal restrictions have only served to punish law-abiding entrepreneurs, as the government has failed to prevent many local investors from moving their businesses across the Strait.
Official statistics show that more than 50,000 businesses in China are owned by Taiwanese businessmen, with a total capitalization amounting to roughly US$60 billion.
Chang said he was aware his opinion would draw criticism from some members of his party, but that he would not back down from playing the role of "a prophet."
Taking a step further, lawmaker Shen Fu-hsiung (
Shen, who has proposed a commonwealth between Taiwan and China to resolve the cross-strait entanglement, said he was personally receptive to the "one China, different interpretations" consensus reportedly struck by bilateral envoys.
"If Beijing allows for different interpretations of `one China' and promises to be consistent when addressing the issue at home and abroad, we may as well uphold the so-called 1992 consensus, existing or not," Shen said.
The DPP has actually been more flexible and pragmatic than China and the opposition, Shen said, advising the president to make reconciling the opposition parties his top agenda item after the year-end elections.
*One key advisor voiced support for an engagement approach to improving trade ties between the two sides.
* A DPP legislator said it is time the government abandon the "no haste, be patient" policy.
* The legislator said he would not change his position, even if criticized by party members.
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