Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

DPP considers forming TPP task force

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mulling establishing a task force focused on studying Taiwan entering Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotations, a party official said yesterday.

If established, the task force may comprise party officials and think tank experts, and would conduct studies on negotiation strategy, policy recommendations and the holding of exchanges with foreign governments, as well as international academics, DPP Department of International Affairs director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) said.

The DPP sees joining the proposed free-trade bloc as key for Taiwan’s future and even though President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) also supports entering TPP talks and has expressed hope that Taiwan will be a member by 2020, his administration has yet to engage in any preparatory work, Liu said.

The DPP has already reached out to the international community for information on other countries’ assessment and negotiation strategies, said Liu, who recently returned from a trip to Japan.

From Dec. 2 until Thursday last week, Liu’s delegation met with Japanese academics and politicians to learn from the experiences they have gained from Tokyo’s ongoing TPP negotiations, he said.

Liu added that the DPP has established bilateral communications with Taiwan’s informal allies in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, as well as the US, which the party deems crucial for its success in future elections and for the nation’s diplomatic presence.

Having established a representative office in Washington, the DPP has also started sending delegations to Tokyo every couple of months and to Seoul every six months, he said.

“It is part of our effort to connect Taiwan with the ‘democratic alliance,’ a proposal initiated by DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) advocating collaboration between Taiwan and other democracies in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the establishing of a mechanism to affirm that our positions and Taiwanese mainstream public opinion are understood abroad,” Liu said.

Separately yesterday, DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the party wants China to promote regional stability and refrain from escalating tensions.

Lin made the remarks in response to Beijing’s criticism of the DPP’s position on China’s new air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Fan Liqing (范麗青) said yesterday in Beijing that by accusing China of expansionism, urging collaboration with Japan and the US and protesting the ADIZ, the DPP was trying to incite cross-strait disharmony.

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