Fri, Jan 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Independence can be dropped from program: legislator

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

With a reconciliatory atmosphere slowly emerging in some political circles, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker yesterday suggested that the DPP revise or even remove support for Tai-wanese independence, though senior DPP members quickly opposed the idea.

DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) yesterday proposed that the DPP adjust the "Taiwan independence clause in the party program and make it consistent with the content of the Resolution on Taiwan's Future," or remove it altogether.

The Taiwan independence clause was passed by the DPP in 1991. It said that Taiwan had to establish its own state and enact a new constitution based on the reality that Taiwan enjoyed independent sovereignty. It did not recognize the present Constitution enacted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in 1947.

To ease public concerns about its stance on independence, the DPP then issued the "Resolution on Taiwan's Future" in 1999, which said Taiwan is an independent sovereign state, the name of which is the "Republic of China." Taiwan was also said to be neither a province nor a special administrative region of China.

"If the DPP and the People First Party (PFP) are going to cooperate with each other in all seriousness, both sides have to deal with the most sensitive and the most pivotal parts of their basic stance," Lee said.

He said that coalition governments have existed in Europe for a century, and that if the DPP and PFP cannot find shared ground in terms of policy and political approach, any coalition government formed by the two parties would be fragile.

"It wouldn't last long. Perhaps only three months, or three days," Lee said.

Lee also said he would invite other DPP legislators concerned about the matter and its impact on cross-strait affairs to hold a forum after elections for DPP chairman at the end of month.

Responding to Lee's suggestion, DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said that he did not agree with Lee, and stressed that Lee's opinions did not necessarily represent those of the DPP as a whole.

"Lee's suggestion does not make sense because the Taiwan independence clause was replaced by the `Resolution on Taiwan's Future' in 1999," Tsai said. "There is no issue of removing clauses here.

"I don't think the PFP would work with us just because we removed the Taiwan independence clause. The key for cooperation between the two parties doesn't lie in this clause," he added.

DPP Legislator Kao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) agreed, saying that the clause was now "a historical document" and that the Resolution on Taiwan's Future represented the party line.

Meanwhile, PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) yesterday said that the PFP would not comment on Lee's remarks, saying that they were the opinions of a single lawmaker, though the PFP would observe developments.

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