Wed, Mar 20, 2002 - Page 3 News List

TSU wants no part of presidential cross-strait group


With the political parties in agreement that developing a national consensus on cross-strait relations is the key to improving cross-strait relations, President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) efforts to foster agreement on the issue among the pan-green camp were undermined yesterday when the TSU said that it would not participate in the Advisory Group on Cross-strait Relations (兩岸跨黨派小組).

Meanwhile, the first cross-strait legislative group, the Strait Forum (海峽論壇), was inaugurated in the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

A report in the local Chinese-language media yesterday said that the TSU would boycott the advisory group because of its opposition to the government's decision to allow eight-inch micro-chip foundries to migrate to China.

The director of the TSU's policy center, Lee Shang-ren (李先仁), told the Taipei Times that it was true that the party would boycott the group, explaining, "The party doesn't see any necessity in being part of the group, since the dispute is not the most crucial issue for political parties to discuss at this moment and the group did not achieve very much in its last meetings."

He said, however, "This has nothing to do with the TSU's disagreement with the government about eight-inch wafer fabs. The decision was taken before the latter controversy developed."

The domestic political dispute over cross-strait affairs revolves around the so-called "1992 consensus," to which the KMT, PFP and China adhere but whose existence the DPP denies.

Beijing has set recognition by Taiwan of the supposed consensus -- that there is only "one China" but that Taiwan and China may differ about the definition thereof -- as the precondition for any resumption of cross-strait dialogue.

At yesterday's launch, Premier Yu Shyi-kun said "reaching consensus over cross-strait issues in the domestic society should be the priority before Taiwan pushes any cross-strait dialogue resumption."

In an effort to develop a national consensus, Chen announced his decision to resume the president's Advisory Group on Cross-strait Relations in February.

The KMT and PFP, however, turned down Chen's idea immediately, saying the group's functions would effectively usurp those of the National Unification Council.

The group was formed soon after Chen's inauguration in May 2000 and was intended to include representatives from all major parties.

The Strait Forum, however, believes cross-strait affairs is the most important issue facing the nation and issued a statement saying that it wishes to help the government on all aspects of cross-strait policy making, and to forge a consensus among the nation's political parties.

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