The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is expected to reinstate the Department of China Affairs as its “first step toward positive and active engagement with China,” DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said yesterday.
A proposal to reinstate the department, which was merged with the Department of International Affairs in August 2007, is scheduled to be discussed at a Central Executive Committee meeting today, Wang said.
Reinstating the department was part of the campaign platform of DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who was elected in May after vowing to improve the party’s understanding and interaction with China.
The department would be tasked with gathering information, as well as the analysis and promotion of bilateral engagement and research on security and cross-strait peace, Wang said.
The next step would be the establishment of a committee tentatively called the “China Affairs Committee,” which would include party heavyweights and academics, and would function as the DPP’s top China policymaking body, he said.
A series of forums on China affairs and policies would also be held, Wang said.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), hailed as the front-runner to head the committee, told reporters yesterday that he did not rule out accepting the offer, but would not force the situation.
More cross-strait interaction is good for the DPP and direct communication would avoid misunderstandings, Hsieh said.
Hsieh said he would like to visit China on a humanitarian visit or cultural exchange before accepting a China-related position.