The political status of arrangements between Taiwan and China are expected to be hot topics over the next two weeks, with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members attending cross-strait affairs forums in Beijing in clusters after a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) forum reaffirmed the “one China” framework as the basis of cross-strait engagement last week.
Former DPP chairman Hsu Hsin-liang (許信良), DPP Central Executive Committee member Hung Chi-kune (洪智坤) and several academics who served in the former DPP administration, are among the Taiwanese participants in a forum to be held in Shanghai on Thursday and Friday.
Participation in events like this is no longer a taboo within the DPP, which now only requests advanced notification from members who are to attend academic forums or other events related to cross-strait affairs so the party can better engage Beijing.
The focus of the forum could center around the political relationship between Taiwan and China, after KMT honorary chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) last week made a splash with his parroting of the “one China” framework, which the DPP vehemently opposes.
Hsu, who advocates a modest China policy, said yesterday that he planned to bring up his initiative of a China Council — based on the European Council model — in the forum, backed by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office and the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
The 72-year-old said the initiative would make the DPP “an attacker” with creative proposals on China policy, which could find the best solution to protect Taiwan’s “status quo” if the “one China” framework is inevitable.
Hung, who is already in Shanghai, wrote on his Facebook page that participants are attending the forum in a private capacity and would only speak on that basis.
“The ‘one China’ framework upheld by the KMT and the CCP is based on nationalism. I don’t think nationalism alone could persuade the Taiwanese into accepting the arrangement,” Hung said.
He added that discussions of a political endgame would only be possible when both sides of the Taiwan Strait share similar values on freedom, democracy and human rights.
Meanwhile, former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) is scheduled to attend a two-day forum in Hong Kong on June 29 and 30. The forum is being organized by Hsieh’s Taiwan Reform Foundation and the Institute of Taiwan Studies.
The forum is another attempt by Hsieh to foster closer DPP-CCP ties since his visit to Beijing in October last year as the first senior DPP politician to visit China.
Hsieh, also a moderate on China policy, has been advocating a “two sides, two constitutions” (兩岸兩憲) initiative, saying that both sides should be able to recognize the legitimacy of each other’s constitutions and strengthen bilateral ties.