Thu, May 17, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Tsai should go to Beijing for talks: Nan Fang Shuo

Staff writer, with CNA

A noted political commentator has suggested that former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) take the opportunity while she has no party or public obligations to visit Beijing and try to talk with future Chinese leaders there.

Such a visit would be “good for the DPP and for Taiwan,” Nan Fang Shuo (南方朔) said in an interview with Tsai.

The interview was published yesterday in The Journalist magazine.

In response, Tsai said she would carefully weigh the suggestion.

“I will not rule out the possibility” of making such a visit under the right circumstances, said Tsai, a former head of the Mainland Affairs Council.

She said she learned early in her political career that good negotiators usually calculate the risks and know how to use their bargaining chips to achieve the best results.

Therefore, before engaging in any negotiation, one needs to be clear about the factors involved, said Tsai, who stepped down as DPP chairperson after she lost the presidential election in January to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

On the question of whether cross-strait policy was one of the DPP’s weak points, Tsai said it was difficult to determine whether it is a weakness or a strength.

What she knows for sure, Tsai said, is that the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) China-leaning policy has cost the ruling party its bargaining chips in its negotiations with China.

It is the DPP that now has the bargaining chips, she said.

“The DPP has a clearer stance on national sovereignty,” Tsai said, noting that although the party has paid a high price to defend its position on sovereignty, it has gained greater public trust than the KMT.

That is the advantage the DPP has in terms of cross-strait relations, she added.

Tsai was elected as DPP chairperson in 2008, becoming the first female leader of the DPP and Taiwan’s first female presidential candidate.

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