Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday called for an expansion of the party’s eight-person China Affairs Committee to ensure it includes a greater variety of viewpoints.
Tsai said the mayors and commissioners of DPP-governed cities and counties should be invited to be committee members because they deal with China-related affairs at the local government level on a daily basis.
The current committee members, announced on Wednesday, are DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who serves as convener, Tsai, former premier Yu Shyi-kun, DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), Greater Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), former National Security Council secretary-general Chiu I-jen (邱義仁) and former DPP secretary-general Wu Nai-jen (吳乃仁).
Tsai also urged the party to keep pursuing former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), known for his moderate China policy and bitter rivalry with Su, to sit on the committee after Hsieh turned down an initial invitation.
On the party’s much-debated China policy, Tsai said it could be “a topic for the next phase,” as global and regional situations keep evolving. For now, she said discussions over the East Asia and Asia situations take precedence.
DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) echoed Tsai’s view, saying that it serves the committee’s interests to include members from different factions, generations and organizations, including the DPP’s caucuses in the Legislative Yuan and local councils.
If the committee is allowed to be dominated by heavyweight politicians and convened only once every three months, it is not likely to produce substantial results, Chen added.