Wed, Jul 28, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP says `red team' is less critical

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, front, arrives at a meeting of the Democratic Progressive Party's Central Standing Committee yesterday in his capacity as party chairman, at which he outlined the party's reform plans.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Ranking Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials yesterday said the "red team" -- a colloquial term for pro-Beijing US academics and officials -- which was critical of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) pre-election cross-strait stance, has softened its criticism and even begun to show approval for the president after his inauguration speech.

DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) yesterday told the party's weekly Central Standing Committee (CSC) yesterday that US academics and officials from both the "red team" and the "blue team" -- the pro-Taiwan camp -- approved of Chen's inauguration speech.

Lee's remarks were made in response to a report by Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) after his trip to the US from July 11 to July 17 to visit various think tanks, congressmembers, officials and media figures.

Wu said in his report that US-Taiwan relations are stable, but still needed further efforts to strengthen bilateral interaction and understanding.

Wu said observers from think tanks in Taiwan, China and the US expressed concern over the conflict of internal opinion in Taiwanese society, manifested in the disagreements among the ruling and opposition parties over the results of the presidential election and the assassination attempt on Chen.

Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) urged the government to tighten up the coordination of "internal opinion," in the wake of Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) "Bulletgate" pamphlets to US government officials in which the party "made false accusations against the DPP surrounding the election-eve assassination attempt on Chen."

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), who attended the CSC meeting for the first time yesterday, suggested that officials -- particularly legislators -- make more frequent visits to US think tanks and academic institutions for short-term studies to enhance the US' understanding of Taiwan's policies.

DPP Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) yesterday pointed out an alarming situation in the drop of Taiwanese students studying in the US each year against the increase of students from China, urging the government to beef up measures to encourage more Taiwanese students to study in the US.

Chai said the number of Taiwanese students studying in the US stood at about 29,000 each year, falling far behind the 60,000 Chinese students going to the US for study annually.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday urged the government to introduce more young Taiwanese students in the US back to Taiwan to promote the US-Taiwan exchanges.

Su said many Taiwanese students, having spent a long time living in the US and possessing sufficient knowledge about the culture of both the US and Taiwanese societies, could be very useful in bridging barriers.

In his report, Wu indicated the viewpoints shared by some US officials who are regarded as "Taiwan's friends," saying "the US government was deeply concerned over the internal conflicts of the Chinese leadership after the visit by US National Security Advisor Condolezza Rice to Beijing in early July."

President Chen yesterday reiterated the government's determination to push for a peaceful and stable framework across Taiwan Strait.

In related issues, as the party opened the 11th CSC meeting yesterday, President Chen played down speculations that the inclusion of the four likely successors to Chen attending the CSC meeting has anything to do with the DPP's power transfer.

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