Su says Taiwan affairs a priority

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is in no hurry to establish a China Affairs Committee, as the welfare of Taiwanese means more to the party than anything else, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.

The DPP has no timetable for the establishment of the committee, which will be an intra-party platform for the discussion and formulation of its China policy, Su said after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei.

Su did not comment on the reported appointment of former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Su’s perennial political foe, as head of the committee.

“By saying that we would seek active engagement with Beijing does not mean we will be in a rush to begin the process,” Su said.

Hsieh told reporters that he would not shy away from the responsibility if DPP members agreed to his appointment.

Known for his advocacy of a constitutional consensus, also known as a “constitutional one China (憲法一中),” Hsieh said the initiative stresses that the Constitution should be the “bottom line” for competition between the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Hsieh said Taiwan should engage with Beijing as a whole, rather than via separate meetings between various political parties and the Chinese Communist Party, which would jeopardize Taiwan’s national security.

Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), chief secretary of the DPP’s legislative caucus, said Hsieh would be an appropriate candidate to head the committee given his long-term focus on cross-strait affairs.

Former premier Yu Shyi-kun agreed with Su on taking the necessary time to establish the committee, saying that the general atmosphere at this moment centered around people’s well-being, not China affairs.

“We should be standing on the same side with the Taiwanese people. We should do what people most care about at this moment,” Yu said.