It is imperative for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to rebuild its relations with society and facilitate closer engagement with China’s civic movments, academics said yesterday.
The DPP has lost its touch in managing social issues and its relations with Taiwan’s civil society have soured, while at the same time it has never fully understood the emerging civil society in China, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said at the conclusion of a closed-door meeting on the issue, which she chaired.
Rebuilding a constructive partnership between the party and civil society and improving its understanding of social issues would help the DPP find “a new shared idea” between the party and its supporters, Tsai said.
Almost everyone at the meeting agreed that the DPP has a long way to go in terms of its understanding of China.
Collaboration with civil societies across the Taiwan Strait could help change the structure of the bilateral relations altogether, Tsai said in summing up dozens of participants’ comments.
Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹), who now teaches in Taiwan, urged the DPP to build contacts with Chinese NGOs, reporters, intellectuals, liberal government officials, business leaders, human rights lawyers and students.
It would be also important for the DPP to distinguish between China and the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government as distinct from Chinese society, in its policies, Wang said.
Observing the recent civic movements in Taiwan that have organized large protests, Academia Sinica fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said there could be three scenarios for future civil movements — being absorbed by political parties, a parallel development and competition with political parties or replacing current political parties.