Tue, Feb 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Shu plots out the TSU's future

Extolled by former president Lee Teng-hui as 'a man who is able to wield both the pen and the gun,' new Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Shu Chin-chiang has a strong ambition to transform the TSU into a party that is responsive to its grass-roots supporters. Shu, who served as the TSU's first secretary-general, a senior adviser to the National Security Council and secretary-general of the National Cultural Association, spoke of his plans to reform the party in an exclusive interview with `Taipei Times' staff reporter Jewel Huang

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Recently appointed TSU Chairman Shu Chin-chiang speaks during an interview at party headquarters on Feb. 4.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Taipei Times: In order to seek political cooperation with the pan-blue camp, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been promoting the idea of political reconciliation since the pan-green camp failed to win a majority in the legislative elections last December. What is the TSU's position toward this so-called political reconciliation, as the DPP and the pan-blues seem to have reached certain political agreements?

Shu Chin-chiang: In fact, it was former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) who first actively proposed the idea of political cooperation and reconciliation to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) after the December elections. Former president Lee encouraged President Chen to seek cooperation with the opposition parties -- even with the People First Party (PFP). Lee said only by cooperation could Taiwan's political situation be stabilized.

Lee's suggestion was for the sake of Taiwan's sustainable and long-term development, not just for the TSU's development. Therefore, the TSU has taken a supportive stance on the political cooperation issue and we have never been jealous of the Chinese Nationalist party (KMT) or the PFP's collaboration with the DPP. However, the premise of our supportive attitude is that each political party's actions [should be] for the good of the country. The TSU is absolutely opposed to the sort of cooperation in which political parties shake hands on the table yet exchange interests behind the scenes. This will only create a mirage that the political situation is stable.

I think it was absurd for the KMT to propose six conditions to Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) for permitting KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) to accept the post of vice premier -- one condition was even about the issue of the KMT's party assets. The whole thing simply revealed KMT Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) feudal thinking and his "one-party state" mindset. Those conditions totally deviated from public opinion and the core values of the Taiwanese people. What Lien wanted was to blackmail the DPP by kidnapping Chiang. And ridiculously, the KMT even asked the DPP to freeze the DPP's "Taiwan independence clause." How could one party ask another to freeze its soul? The Chinese Communist Party [CCP] wanted the DPP to revoke that clause and so did the KMT. As a political party that vows to be a voice for Taiwanese people, the TSU will oppose situations in which the DPP seeks to work with the opposition by sacrificing Taiwan's interests.

I can understand that the DPP has to be humble and flexible in many issues as a ruling party; however, the DPP can't be so humble that it kneels down for mercy in front of the pan-blue camp, and it can't be so flexible that it forsakes its principles. The result of Hsieh's compromising remarks would only be arrogance from the KMT.

Taipei Times: It seems that a more sanguine atmosphere of political collaboration is forming after Hsieh released the message that "the Executive Yuan will not force forward the movement to change the country's official name." Since changing the country's name is one of the TSU's major platforms, what is the TSU's reaction to Hsieh's remarks?

Shu: Recently I have received so many phone calls from people living in the south who complain that Premier Hsieh has already turned a deaf ear to their voices, even though the premier had only left Kaohsiung a few days before.

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