Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday agreed to join the party’s China Affairs Committee, a panel tasked with devising the DPP’s China policy.
Hsieh, who had turned down DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) invitation to sit on the committee several times, finally joined the eight-member body yesterday afternoon after a 60-minute meeting with Su, Hsieh’s office said in a press release.
The premier was quoted as saying that he had intended to leave the committee seat vacant for a party colleague, but repeated appeals from various DPP politicians, including former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), changed his mind.
“I have always advocated reconciliation and there is no one who I cannot work with,” Hsieh was quoted as saying.
DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said that Su had never given up on having Hsieh on the committee, which is why he had extended invitations several times.
“We are glad that former premier Hsieh is now a committee member so that we can work together to explore and discuss cross-strait affairs,” Wang said.
The committee members are Su, who serves as convener, Tsai, Hsieh, Chen Chu, former premier Yu Shyi-kun, DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), 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).
The first meeting of the committee is scheduled for Thursday.
Hsieh initially declined to join the committee after his “two Sides, two Constitutions (憲法各表)” initiative and his visit to Beijing in October last year were criticized by some DPP colleagues.