Fri, Jan 14, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Cooperation is in everyone's interests, Chang says

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung in high spirits during a press conference yesterday called to discuss possible cooperation with the People First Party.

PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Taiwanese should encourage inter-party cooperation instead of trying to derail it, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) said yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference, Chang said that the DPP was firm in its commitment to work together with the People First Party (PFP), and that this was something which everyone should support for the sake of the country.

Chang also asked that pressure should not be put on PFP chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) over the cooperation issue.

"Although we have obtained some support since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) showed his sincerity about political reconciliation after Dec. 11, ... I have to admit that we have also experienced a lot of obstruction over this period of time," Chang said.

An example of such obstruction, Chang said, were the trucks circling the Legislative Yuan Buildings for the last few days carrying slogans such as "save the PFP and don't let orange becomes green" and "boycott cooperation between the DPP and the PFP."

The idea of cooperation between the two parties is deeply controversial among their members.

Chang urged everyone, especially religious groups, charity groups and centrist voters to help facilitate political reconciliation, which he said was Taiwan's most pressing need.

"In the past, Taiwanese society hasn't had much experience of seeking reconciliation but has been good at generating hostility," Chang said, "so it is a difficult lesson for both Taiwanese people and political figures to learn how to compromise and reconcile with each other."

"I believe all the people of Taiwan want a stable political situation and we hope each political party can grasp this chance to fulfill the public's expectation," he said.

Chang cited the words of No Future Without Forgiveness, written by Archbishop Desmond TuTu, South African winner of the Noble Peace Price, saying that the message "there's no understanding without dialogue, there's no future without cooperation" was a revelation for Taiwanese society.

"We hope the public will not put too much pressure on PFP Chairman Soong or on the mediators between the DPP and PFP," Chang added. "Hopefully, we can replace confrontation with cooperation and work together to create a more stable and harmonious society."

Chang denied, however, that he had been in personal contact with Soong.

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