Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday proposed freezing the party’s so-called “Taiwan independence charter” to boost its chance of returning to power.
Ker, who convened the last of a series of meetings on the party’s China policy yesterday, proposed the idea unexpectedly in an article titled: DPP China policy with a new global perspective, but stressed that the views expressed in the paper were his own.
“The DPP has always upheld the Taiwanese identity and its core values, and there is no need to go back to working on the Taiwan independence movement. With that, I propose freezing the independence charter and bidding farewell to the old days so we can formulate a new cross-strait policy based on a new global perspective,” Ker wrote in the article.
If the party wishes to return to power, it has to show the voters, China and the international community that it is capable of managing cross-strait relations, he added.
“It’s a freeze, not an abolition. It could be unfrozen,” Ker said after the article was presented.
The so-called independence clause is an article in the party’s charter that calls for the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan. Beijing has always said that the independence charter was the primary roadblock to it engaging with the DPP.
DPP spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) told a press conference held after the meeting that the caucus whip’s opinion was his personal view and did not represent DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) position on the matter.
Su’s position on the matter remains unchanged: The chairman views Taiwan as an independent and sovereign country given the series of constitutional amendments, presidential elections and legislative elections that have taken place over the years, Chang said.
The independence charter was drafted when the nation was still under martial law, during a time when democracy advocates aspired to establish a new country, the spokesperson said.
Ker’s proposal immediately sparked heated discussion among party members and supporters on the Internet, with some netizens describing the proposal “a betrayal of the DPP’s founding spirit.”