New China policy needed: Hsieh

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Apr 09, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) should take a good, hard look at its “failed” China policy, which had alienated the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Beijing and Washington and which, if it remains unchanged, will hinder it from returning to power, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.

“The DPP should conduct a thorough review of its China policy and think about how it could possibly return to power with an unchanged cross-strait policy,” Hsieh told reporters before a student debate on nuclear energy organized by his Taiwan Reform Foundation.

“Has the DPP given Taiwan more bargaining chips [through its China policy]? Did the US support the DPP during the 2012 presidential campaign? If not, why? I think those are the questions we should think about,” Hsieh said.

Seen as one of the DPP’s most moderate politicians on China policy, Hsieh said the party and its factions should not make themselves “roadblocks or variables” for the global effort to pursue peace with an anti-China stance.

The KMT now dominates Taiwan’s dialogue with China and is the sole cross-strait communicator and interpreter of the positions and opinions of the DPP, as well as the public, which is “dangerous” and does not benefit Taiwan, he added.

The former premier said that is why he has been advocating a constitutional consensus, which could create common ground between the DPP and the KMT so Taiwan would be in a better position to engage with China.

With regards to the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮), Hsieh said after the debate that continued deliberation, discussion and debates are imperative to raise awareness about nuclear energy issues.

However, nuclear energy would be “a matter of choice at the end of the day,” he said.

While some would choose nuclear energy over higher electricity rates and others may not want to face the risk of a nuclear disaster, the consequences will have to shared by everyone, he said.