Sat, Jul 31, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP `New Tide' faction celebrates 20th anniversary

By Chang Yun-ping and Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) New Tide faction (新潮流), the best-organized and largest faction in the party, will celebrate its 20th anniversary today, as it positions itself to influence the process of national development and build a stable cross-strait framework.

The faction, which takes its name from a magazine founded by democracy activists in June 1984 against the backdrop of the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), has witnessed all the turning points of the nation's democratization, including the abolition of the National Assembly and the institution of direct presidential elections.

Senior faction member and DPP Legislator Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) yesterday said the faction would continue with its policy of a "new middle way," a non-aggressive approach to building an independent and sovereign nation.

Hong said that over the years, the faction had insisted on the "new middle way" when formulating core policies, in contrast to a hardline stance on Taiwanese independence promoted by others.

The "new middle way" was encapsulated in the DPP's 1999 Resolution on Taiwan's Future and President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) inauguration speeches in 2000 and this year and still represents mainstream party thinking, Hong said.

Hong said, however, that the DPP government should pay more attention to social reconciliation and solidarity, particularly in the wake of the presidential election which left many divisions between Mainlanders and Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) people.

"Without reconciliation and solidarity, the DPP's administration would be meaningless. It is, therefore, one of the party's prime tasks to increase public trust in the government," Hong said.

Speaking on competition with the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), which adopts a more hardline stance on independence and threatens to undermine the DPP's traditional support base, Hong said there was no need for the DPP to compete with the TSU over a common consensus on a Taiwan-centered consciousness.

The faction will today hold a conference in Taipei to mark its 20th anniversary. Senior members, including National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁), Taiwan Stock Exchange chairman Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁) and Council of Labor Affairs chairwoman Chen Chu (陳菊), are expected to participate.

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