Wed, Aug 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Yu vows to persist with `normal country' strategy

ELECTION VISION The DPP chairman said that while unification with China would be suicide, maintaining the cross-strait `status quo' would be prolonged suicide

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

In the face of opposition from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) campaign, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun yesterday promised to persist with his plan to have the party adopt a "normal country" resolution.

Yu said at a reception for representatives from several pro-independence groups that such a resolution would help clarify the party's vision among voters ahead of next year's presidential election.

The party drafted the resolution as part of its strategy to fire up support among grassroots voters before trying to gain support from swing voters, he said.

He said that some researchers have questioned the existence of swing voters, adding that even if there were swing voters, previous elections have shown that they were less willing to vote.

The party last Wednesday unveiled its draft "normal country" resolution, in which it highlights the need to change the nation's name to "Taiwan" to differentiate it from China and establish a new constitution to rid itself of "the myth of the one-China constitutional framework."

"There are three main political approaches within the nation: unification with China, maintaining the `status quo' and normalization. It's obvious that unification with China would be suicide, while maintaining the `status quo' is prolonged suicide," Yu said yesterday.

"The `status quo' is becoming increasingly unfavorable to Taiwan, so we should have the courage to make a break. We need to have the confidence and will to seek normalization of the country," he said.

Yu's meeting with independence advocacy groups came after a meeting on Monday between him, Hsieh's campaign manager Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) and members of a task force responsible for drafting the resolution.

A report in yesterday's Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) quoted an anonymous DPP source as saying that Lee specifically urged the party at Monday's meeting to shelve the resolution until after next year's presidential election for fear that it might have a negative impact on Hsieh's electoral performance.

Yu yesterday said that the resolution would have short-term as well as long-term benefits for the party.

He said the party needed to promote a consensus in the pan-green camp on the nation's future by adopting the resolution.

"Without the normal country resolution or without a consensus in the party [on its vision for Taiwan], next year's election results may not favor the DPP," he said.

Northern Taiwan Society vice chairwoman Michelle Wang (王美琇) said pro-independence groups believed that the party should adopt the resolution despite opposition from the DPP's presidential campaign team.

"We have come to a historically decisive moment. The DPP has the obligation to tell the Taiwanese people where Taiwan is heading and why our nation is not yet normal," she said, urging the party to keep picking at flaws in the current Constitution and highlight the problems presented by the nation's title.

Wang added that pro-independence groups would propose a "more radical normal country draft" to the party for reference.

Hsieh and Lee both declined to comment on the draft resolution when approached by reporters yesterday.

Answering reporters' questions in Shulin (樹林), Hsieh said the party was dealing with many issues at the moment, including recovery of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) stolen assets and pushing for participation in the UN using the name "Taiwan."

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