Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that the party has failed to make substantial progress in its relationship with Beijing and must make changes to its China policy as soon as possible.
In an interview with the Chinese-language China Times published yesterday, Hsieh spoke about what he called the DPP’s failed cross-strait policy that appears to have depreciated DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) efforts to see the party progress.
The DPP cannot afford to sit and do nothing about its China policy, Hseih said, citing an unreleased survey conducted by the party following its loss in the 2012 presidential election in which 65 percent of respondents found the DPP’s ability to manage cross-strait economic exchanges questionable.
“If the DPP wants to return to power, it must change its China policy as soon as possible,” Hsieh was quoted as saying.
The former premier said he was displeased with the DPP’s review of and recommendations for its China policy last week, in which it pledged to “seek the public’s consensus” on cross-strait issues.
Hseih said that vow was “a beautiful shot that failed to score.”
No one in the party tabled any initiative to complement or challenge his proposal for “two sides, two constitutions,” Hsieh was quoted as saying, arguing that his initiative was the only such DPP proposal accepted by the Taiwanese public, Beijing and Washington.
When asked about critics who had said his initiative was “pro-Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT],” Hsieh said that if the DPP intended to seek the maximum consensus among Taiwanese, “it is impossible not to include the KMT’s view.”
The DPP’s approach of “alienating anything related to China” and its efforts to oppose everything from the KMT had produced no positive results, he added.
DPP whip Ker Chien-Ming’s proposal to freeze the DPP’s Taiwan independence clause should be discussed and included as a policy option, Hsieh said.
In related news, the Taiwan Affairs Office yesterday said that the DPP would be “walking toward a dead end if it insisted on independence, regardless of which mask it puts on the policy.”
Responding to the remarks, DPP Department of China Affairs Director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) said that the party’s China policy reflected the core values of the mainstream Taiwanese public, responded to societal views across the Taiwan Strait and showed the party’s confidence and pragmatism toward bilateral engagement.