Thu, Oct 11, 2012 - Page 3 News List

DPP divided on Hsieh as China committee head

By Lee Hsin-fang and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) said he opposed the appointment of former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to head the party’s planned China Affairs Committee being mulled by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

To consolidate and integrate the party’s policies on China, Su is said to be planning to designate Hsieh as head of the reinstated committee.

“I am quite concerned with Hsieh’s stance on China. Hsieh’s proposal for a 'constitutional one China (憲法一中)' is contrary to the DPP’s platform on Taiwanese sovereignty,” he said. “What would the committee do? Would it have an advisory role, or have policy decisionmaking functions? This must be clearly delineated, because the DPP already has decisionmaking bodies in the Central Executive Committee and the Central Standing Committee.”

Former premier and former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun also questioned the move.

“We already have the Department of China Affairs, so why do we need a China Affairs Committee?” he asked.

In response, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said this was an ongoing matter.

“As of yet, we do not have a timetable on the starting date of the committee. We understand there are different opinions inside the party. The party executives will take time with due consideration on this matter. We will inform everyone when progress has been made,” Wang said.

A top DPP executive said Su had already decided to put Hsieh in charge of the committee. In response to media inquiries, Wang said no decision had been made.

According to an official from a pro-localization group, members of some pro-localization groups discussed the issue of the DPP’s plans to reinstate the committee, and a number of officials had reservations about the move.

Some, remembering Hsieh’s "one country, two cities (一國兩市)" initiative in 2000, were apprehensive about his stance on China, the official said, adding that they remain wary of Hsieh’s overall views on cross-strait relations, despite supporting his resistance to the so-called “1992 consensus” during his visit to China last week.

Hsieh returned earlier this week from a five-day visit to China to mixed reviews and criticism from the pan-green camp, after he became the most senior member of the DPP to meet with high-ranking Chinese officials.

Hsieh sought to set people’s minds at ease in a post on Web site Plurk yesterday.

“Freedom, democracy and human rights are the fruits of Taiwan’s democracy movement these past 30 years. Most of these core values are documented in the Constitution,” he wrote. “To me, aside from the difference of constitutional order between 'constitutions with different interpretations (憲法各表)' and ‘one China, with each side having its own interpretation (一中各表)' .... there are also differences in our emotional response to it.”

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