The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) first of nine special meetings ended yesterday, during which the party reaffirmed its resolution on Taiwan’s future of 1999 and opposition to the “one China” framework as the core values of the DPP’s China policy.
Party members agreed that the party has to be flexible in its dealings with Beijing to vie for domestic as well as international support.
“The participants agreed that the biggest difference between the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is our insistence on safeguarding Taiwan’s sovereignty and protecting the Taiwanese public’s right to determine its own future,” said Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), spokesperson of the DPP’s China Affairs Committee.
About 70 DPP politicians and academics attended the two-hour closed-door meeting, the first of nine on the DPP’s China policy, and engaged in enthusiastic discussions, Cheng said.
Summing up the discussions, Cheng said participants agreed that domestic support would be the most valuable asset for the party; the party should be confident in dealing with Beijing because more than 70 percent of the public identified themselves as Taiwanese, despite the acceleration of cross-strait engagement in recent years; and some people did benefit from bilateral economic exchanges.
Former deputy foreign minister Michael Kau (高英茂) was quoted as saying that the DPP should be patient and flexible in formulating its China policy, since the endgame solution of the cross-strait political dilemma may not arise in this or the next generation.
Therefore, the short to medium-term goal for the DPP should be pursuing peace and lowering tensions across the Strait, Cheng quoted Kau as saying.
Central Executive Committee member Hung Chi-kune (洪智坤) said after the meeting that participants appeared to be split on the party’s general strategy on cross-strait relations, with some favoring an ambiguous approach while others, most of whom are independence supporters, insisting that the strategy should be clear.
However, most attention was directed toward two participants — former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), who had returned from a cross-strait forum in Hong Kong on Wednesday, and former DPP lawmaker Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄), whose political view has been leaning toward the pan-blue camp since quitting the DPP.
Cheng and National Dong Hwa University professor Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) said that participants who held different views from Hsieh’s refrained from directly criticizing the former premier, who left the meeting early.
However, Shih did pose a question about Hsieh’s remarks in Hong Kong about Taiwan and China as a “community of destiny” and said the remarks were “inappropriate” because China still holds hostility and territorial ambition against Taiwan, they added.
The DPP’s China policy should be acceptable to all Taiwanese, tolerated by Beijing and differ from the KMT’s China policy, Shen said, adding that the KMT’s recent recognition of the “one China” framework proved that its initiatives of the so-called “1992 consensus” and “one China with different interpretations” never existed.
The second meeting, which is to focus on how the DPP should handle the “1992 consensus,” is scheduled to take place on July 25.