Four members of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Central Disciplinary Committee are expected to propose revoking the memberships of two senior party members at a provisional committee meeting on Monday for attending a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-Chinese Communist Party (CPP) forum in China.
On Wednesday, the committee decided to suspend former DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (?Q) and former Council of Agricultural minister Fan Cheng-tsung’s (范振宗) membership privileges for three years — a lighter punishment than one recommended by the Central Standing Committee, which said to expel them from the party.
DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), one of the committee members who previously opposed revoking the pair’s membership, told a press conference yesterday that now she would like to apologize for her erroneous decision.
The pair’s participation at the KMT-CCP forum “is a direct violation of the DPP charter,” she said.
“The DPP has never barred any of it members or party officials from interacting with Beijing under the condition that they would not participate in any event that could denigrate Taiwan or promote unification. But the party has always made it clear that the KMT-CCP forum was strictly prohibited,” she said at a press conference held at DPP headquarters.
Former DPP Lawmaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that while making their case to the committee on Wednesday, both Hsu and Fan were contrite and apologetic over their behavior.
“Fan even said to the committee that as long as we agree not to strip his membership, he would shoulder any form of punishment. Both vowed never to say or do anything disparaging to the party from now on,” he said, adding that both also agreed to offer a public apology.
“However, instead of making good on their promise, the two went on talk shows later that night and complained about how they were wronged by the committee. All I can say is, these two are brilliant actors,” Chiu said, adding that Hsu — who is a founding party member and better known in the DPP as “Grandma” — had “betrayed the party for her own self-interest.”
Chiu said the pair’s speech and conduct have violated the conditions of their suspension and hurt the party, and therefore the DPP would propose to strip them of their membership at Monday’s meeting.
Both Hsu and Fan plan to appeal their case to the arbitration committee and insisted they had nothing to be apologetic about, arguing that the forum they attended was titled “Cross-Strait Trade and Economic Forum,” not the prohibited KMT-CCP Forum.
The name of the forum was changed after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) suggested earlier this month that it be called “cross-strait” to encourage the participation of non-KMT members.
“The name of the meeting is not the issue at hand,” Chiu said yesterday. “We disagree with the meeting because it is completely outside the scrutiny of the Taiwanese people.”
At a separate setting yesterday, the Hsu, 71, was adamant that she did nothing wrong and would go back to China again if invited. Fan also refused to apologize and said “if they want to remove me from the party, then go ahead.”
Both insisted that their action was motivated by their love for Taiwan and said that although they attended the forum, they did not “participate” in any of the discussions.