Hsieh says he wanted to aid cross-strait development

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Oct 10, 2012 - Page 3

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday defended his landmark visit to China, saying it was an attempt by someone with no public office or party position to move forward on positive cross-strait development, adding that he welcomed all comments and criticism.

Hsieh, returned to Taipei on Monday, and held a 90-minute talk with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday morning, briefing the latter on his visit and meetings with three high-ranking Chinese officials.

Speaking to the media later yesterday before his weekly radio program, Hsieh said most of the criticism focused on his initiative of “One Constitution, two interpretations” rather than the motive of his trip.

“I would love to listen to all opinions and proposals on my initiative,” Hsieh said.

However, he added, those who opposed his initiative would have to think deeply about whether to eventually recognize the current Republic of China (ROC) Constitution.

“If they refused to recognize it, they would have to come up with measures to legislate a new constitution and gauge whether the price to pay and the time-consuming process worth the wait,” Hsieh said.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking DPP official, who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said that, “contrary to what some people think, Su and Hsieh have mutual trust on the visit.”

Speaking about recent criticism of Hsieh’s visit as well as various opinions on the party’s China policy, the official said it has been the norm for the DPP to “have people with diverse opinions on almost everything.”

“We would have arguments from time to time, but we share the same position on certain basic ideas, which was why we could establish this party,” the official said.

The 1999 “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future,” which defines Taiwan as a sovereign nation separate from China, while acknowledging the ROC as the country’s formal title, appeared to be the curernt consensus among DPP members, the official said.

Su and the DPP would be taking their time on the formation of the much-anticipated China Affairs Committee, a planned decision-making platform on the party’s China policy, because time is not ripe just yet, they added.

“In politics, you have to do the right thing at the right time. Integration of different opinions on China policy or holding intra-party debates are not an easy task,” the official said. “The urgency of the establishment of the committee or formulation of our China policy within a short period of time is not present.”