Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said the party does not “oppose everything related to China” as many people believe and has begun adjusting its China policy to make it more flexible and able to adapt to the changing dynamics of cross-strait relations.
Su’s comments came in response to a survey conducted by the DPP’s poll center, which found that 40.3 percent of respondents said the DPP’s mentality of “opposing everything related to China” was not acceptable.
The poll results were presented at meeting of the DPP’s China Affairs Committee on Thursday.
The survey conducted earlier this month, with 1,433 valid responses, found that 42.2 percent of the respondents said they were more comfortable with the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) China policy, while 35.2 percent were comfortable with the DPP’s.
The poll found that 45.7 percent of the respondents supported the KMT’s attitude toward exchanges with China, while 31.4 percent supported the DPP’s approach.
The least favorable side of the DPP’s China policy was its stance of opposing anything when it came to China, according to 40.7 percent of the respondents.
The poll found that 37.4 percent of the respondents felt the KMT was too accommodating to China’s demands, which they disliked.
Among the seven aspects of the two parties’ China policy, the DPP only has more public support — 36.5 percent — for its social policies than the KMT (32.1 percent).
In terms of overall policy, 35.2 percent of those polled said their stance on China issues is closer to that of the DPP, while 41.1 percent identified with the KMT’s stance.
Citing the cross-strait service trade agreement, Su said the DPP did not oppose the signing of the pact, but did demand the government safeguard the interests of the weak, national security and the universal values of freedom and democracy in its engagement with China.
Proof that the DPP has changed its approach to China affairs could be seen by the party demanding the service trade pact be renegotiated, while it had been flatly opposed to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in 2010.
There are certain matters the DPP must oppose, such as China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, which authorizes the use of “non-peaceful means” against Taiwan, Su said.
“The DPP is a democratic party that upholds Taiwan’s values,” he said. “It will not give up [the values] that need to be upheld. As for areas that it needs to do better, it will work harder on them.”
Meanwhile, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), said the “right attitude” toward cross-strait exchanges was important, but the DPP might give the public a “fresh image” if it shows itself to be aggressively pushing for exchanges with China.
She said the DPP’s China policy had given an impression of “not being stable enough,” creating fears that it might incur “unpredictable dangers.”
However, the party should not talk lightly about changing its “basic stance,” she said, referring to another survey which indicated that the DPP’s “basic stance” in regard to Taiwan’s independence and unification with China was actually closer to the “public mood.”
That survey found that on a scale of zero to 10, with zero meaning unification with China and 10 meaning de jure independence for Taiwan, the KMT scored 3.33 and the DPP scored 6.90 — closer to the public mood, which stood at 6.20.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang
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