Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday left for Washington to discuss the political and economic implications of his party’s huge success in the nine-in-one elections.
Wu said he is to join a discussion on Capitol Hill, where participants will discuss Taiwan-US ties following the DPP’s sweep of 13 of the nation’s 22 cities and counties.
He said he expects to suggest a framework for the nation’s economic and national defense policies that would be most benefit to bilateral relations.
He also plans to give Taiwanese living in the Washington area an analysis of the election results and the future role of the DPP during his six-day visit, Wu said.
However, he said there are no current plans for DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to visit the US.
Wu served as representative to the US during the former DPP administration.
In the elections on Saturday, the DPP won a total of 5,828,914 votes, or 47.56 percent of the valid ballots cast, while The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) received 4,989,703 votes, or 40.70 percent.
In the mayoral races for the nation’s five special municipalities, the KMT narrowly retained New Taipei City, while the DPP won Greater Taichung and maintained its strong hold over Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.
The KMT lost Taipei to an independent candidate who was backed by the DPP. The DPP also won the mayoral race in Taoyuan County, which is to be upgraded to a special municipality on Dec. 25.
According to Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Freeman Chair in China Studies, US President Barack Obama’s administration is expected to continue its dialogue with the DPP on economic, political and security issues.
The DPP is taking a pragmatic stand on Taiwan-China relations, she said, adding that maintaining an effective channel for cross-strait negotiations and cooperation is key to US interests.
There have been signs indicating that Beijing is concerned about the DPP’s policy on the so-called “1992 consensus,” Glaser said, adding that Beijing may hope that the DPP develops its cross-strait strategy in accordance with the “one China” principle.
However, if the DPP were to fail to adjust its cross-strait policy as China expects after a period of time, Beijing may adopt a tougher stance in dealing with Taiwan’s affairs, Glaser said.
Alan Romberg, director of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center, a US think tank, said he believes that China will not change its policy of seeking peaceful development in cross-strait relations despite the election results.
Refusing further interaction with the DPP would be a lapse in Beijing’s decision-making because the party is gaining more political power and is set to play some role in the development of the cross-strait relationship, Romberg said.
The difficulty for Beijing, he added, will lay in how it expresses its stand on China-Taiwan affairs in a less aggressive way in order to maintain negotiations between the two sides.
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