Thu, May 29, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP cautiously welcomes China talks

BACK CHANNELSTop DPP officials said the talks between the Chinese president and the KMT chairman had potential, but that their timing was open to question

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said it was willing to engage in dialogue and cooperate with China as long as Beijing did not set preconditions, but questioned the timing of the meeting between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤).

DPP Secretary-General Wang Tuoh (王拓) urged political parties to put aside their differences and engage in dialogue and cooperation on the nation’s China policy.

Wang said his party was glad to see the KMT attempt to stabilize cross-strait relations and that the DPP would be happy to see it promote Taiwan’s democracy and advance China’s democratization.

The DPP would also like to see the KMT protect Taiwan’s sovereignty, equality, national interest and security when dealing with the Chinese, he said.

But he expressed concern at the channel of communication established between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), urging the KMT to give official agencies a free hand so that the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) could negotiate with its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also questioned the timing of the meeting between Wu and Hu.

“Wu is too hasty in visiting China,” she said.

Because it was important not to have a fixed agenda in cross-strait talks, Tsai said the necessity of the meeting could be called into question. She said she was baffled by the timing of the meeting because it seemed to coincide with the resumption of contact between the SEF and ARATS.

Contact between Wu and Hu was “political” rather than diplomatic and should be carefully scrutinized, she said, adding that the meeting might give the impression that the KMT organization wanted to usurp the executive.

Tsai said that Wu may have information about the meeting that he cannot divulge to the media, and that she would be very happy to exchange views with him when he returns from his trip.

Former DPP chairman Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said that parties on both sides of the Taiwan Strait should be able to contact one another, but that interaction should not affect the functions of government.

He added that the KMT administration should be careful reaching compromises as the public is watching.

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