Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 4 News List

DPP looks to build cross-strait relations

Staff writer, with CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday passed a resolution urging city and county governments under its leadership to set up an apparatus to handle cross-strait affairs and push for increased interactions with China.

The decision was made during a meeting of the party’s China Affairs Committee that brought together senior party members, including Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former chairmen Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).

“After the [Nov. 29] elections, our map of local governance has expanded,” DPP Department of Chinese Affairs Director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said. “Every city and county must now handle cross-strait affairs and city-to-city exchanges.”

The DPP won in 13 out of 22 cities and counties, including four of the six special municipalities.

The resolution is aimed at encouraging newly installed mayors and county magistrates to overturn the party’s China-wary reputation by learning from the example of Greater Kaohsiung, which has a municipal cross-strait affairs panel.

Chao added that local governments would be able to share information through the party’s “city and county joint administration platform” to strengthen its policy regarding ties with China, long seen as the DPP’s weak point.

Greater Kaohsiung’s panel has nearly two dozen members and is headed by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊). It meets every six months, Chao said.

Tsai said it is important not to shy away from ties with China.

“Cross-strait relations must be forward-looking and keep pace with the times. The DPP must shoulder its responsibility,” she said.

Expanding the DPP’s ability to deal with cross-strait affairs is the party’s top priority, she said.

However, she said that efforts to promote cross-strait links must benefit the nation’s democracy, regional peace and stability and be mutually beneficial.

Tsai also listed three positions on which her party would not give in when it comes to talks with China: democratic and transparent policymaking; “diverse” types of exchanges and equal opportunities for both sides; and goals that serve the public interest.

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