The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called on China to respect Taiwanese mainstream public opinion and core values, as well as the party’s move to foster more constructive bilateral ties after Beijing publicly denounced its draft China policy.
The DPP arrived at a preliminary consensus earlier this month after months-long discussions on plans to revise the party’s China policy following its defeat in the presidential election last year. Participants at the last meeting agreed that constitutionalism should be the foundation of all bilateral engagement with China.
“The biggest obstacle to the mainland’s engagement with the DPP has been and remains the DPP’s insistence on Taiwan’s independence,” Fan Liqing (范麗青), spokesperson for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a press briefing yesterday.
“With the DPP maintaining its position on Taiwanese independence and ‘one country on each side,’ the mainland cannot accept the party’s utilization of several ambiguous concepts as the foundation for bilateral exchanges,” Fan said.
“The DPP will engage China with a positive attitude and confidence, hoping to foster constructive and well-intentioned dialogues, while maintaining the party’s values and basic positions.,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.
“Unfortunately, China remains stubborn and has always tried to coerce Taiwan into a framework defined by nobody but China,” Su said.
He added that the DPP would not abandon Taiwanese core values in exchange for engagement with China.
While the party has not offered a clear definition of constitutionalism, several senior party members said it could be loosely defined as a dynamic process of governance based on the legal and constitutional order.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), a moderate on China policy, said that constitutionalism was a preliminary conclusion that has yet to be finalized and approved by the party.
“Beijing has always opposed Taiwanese independence and ‘one country on each side’ ... We should not be surprised at its longstanding position,” Hsieh said.