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Sun, Oct 21, 2001 - Page 3 News List

DPP makes minor revisions to stance on independence


Seeking to parse apparently conflicting policies on Taiwanese independence, the ruling party yesterday reached a consensus on a controversial proposal to lift the significance of party resolutions to the level of the party platform.

At the second meeting of the DPP's 9th National Congress in Kaohsiung, after minor revisions were made during a heated debate, DPP Chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) announced the proposal's passage.

"This proposal allows room for the party to re-interpret the so-called `Taiwan Independence clause (台獨黨綱),' [which declares that Taiwan is an independent sovereign state] enshrined in the party's platform," Hsieh said at a press conference, adding that "it also grants the party flexibility in reacting to mainstream policy changes."

To inoculate itself in light of the "Taiwan independence clause," the party in 1999 passed a resolution to acknowledge "Republic of China" as the country's official name. Based on yesterday's proposal, the 1999 resolution regarding Taiwan's future should be looked upon as part of the party's platform.

The "Taiwan independence clause," nevertheless, remains in the party's platform, since no revisions were made, something that requires a three-fourths majority of votes to facilitate.

When asked what the party would do if there was a conflict between the resolution and the independence clause in the party's platform, Hsieh responded that "the latter resolution's effect supersedes the previous one," meaning that the party would acknowledge the 1999 resolution as more important than the platform's independence clause.

Also passed at yesterday's meeting was a resolution to integrate major economic conclusions reached at the Economic Development Advisory Conference into the party's yet-to-be announced election platform.

The resolution, put forward by Central Standing Committee member Lawrence Kao (高志鵬) and endorsed by the chairman, will be put on the DPP campaign agenda.

The move is meant to show that the DPP will focus on the country's economic development should it become the majority legislative party. It will now be for the DPP's legislative candidates to go out and convince the public.

Addressing all congressional representatives, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday said that "given the fact that the transfer of power has only been partially completed, it is imperative to initiate its second phase by conducting legislative reforms from Dec. 1 on."

Chen, therefore, encouraged all candidates at yesterday's meeting to win their races so as to consolidate the country's political development and trigger another transfer of power -- this time in the legislature.

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