The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) would be prepared to seek active engagement with China, but would not change its policies to achieve that goal if he were elected party chairperson next month, former DPP chairperson Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良) said yesterday.
Hsu, one of five candidates running in the May 27 DPP chairperson election, focused on his China policy during a meeting with some of the party’s younger members yesterday.
“I would support the DPP’s engagement with Beijing and do not rule out visiting China myself, but I would not change our policies in order to make such a trip happen,” said the 70-year-old, who analysts consider the most moderate of the candidates in terms of China policy.
Hsu said that he did not think it was necessary to rescind the Taiwanese independence clause in the party charter for engagement with Beijing, because “we can not deny our own history.”
“There is no such thing as abandoning Taiwanese independence. As Taiwan is now an independent country, how would we give it up? That’s simply impossible,” Hsu said, adding that he had always advocated a policy that “guarantees the political status quo before boldly opening up.”
However, the Taiwanese independence clause in the DPP charter could be replaced with a new resolution, he said.
Hsu said that former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) proposed China policy of “Taiwan is the Republic of China [ROC] and the ROC is Taiwan” would be a good place to start and could be drafted into an official document, to highlight the party’s recognition of the ROC political system.
However, Hsu said he favored the “constitutional consensus” advocated by former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) over Tsai’s “Taiwan consensus,” because consensus on a constitution would incorporate a broader swathe of public opinion and therefore hopefully end internal division over Taiwanese identity.