Following a call by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for party officials to interact more with their counterparts in China, former Tainan County commissioner Su Huan-chih (蘇煥智) yesterday said the party needed to set up direct communication channels with other countries.
Su, who has declared his intention to run for party chair, a position filled in the interim by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), said that if he became chairman, he would establish DPP representative offices in the US, Japan, India and China.
Party representatives should be “solidly pro-independent” people with good character, Su said, adding that there are many solid choices for representatives, Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏), former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and Tsai being good examples.
Although the DPP, under financial strain, closed its US representative office years ago, Su said it was necessary to establish offices in the US, Japan, and China, adding that the rent for office space would not necessarily have to be high.
Right now, the DPP only has informal communications with the US, Japan and China, and official, systemic communication channels should be established, Su said.
Turning to China, Su said having party representatives in China would help unfairly treated Taiwanese businesspeople speak out, something that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) did not dare do, adding that so far, China has only heard from the KMT, not the DPP.
The Chinese do not sufficiently understand the DPP, Su said.
However, Su also said that if the DPP simply formed a China team, it would look as if the DPP were being given a “pat on the head,” adding that if the DPP sent official party representatives to China, then it could become a systemic channel of communication.
As long as the China representative is a “solidly pro--independent” member, the stance the DPP takes of safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty would not come under doubt, Su said.
Su also proposed that Taiwan adopt a “southward” policy and expand Taiwan’s presence in South Asia, adding that setting up a party representative office in India would help Taiwanese businesspeople in the area.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer