Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-07-05 12:26 AM
Su spoke Thursday afternoon on the first day of the party’s "Huashan Forum," a series of meetings that will extend throughout most of July. The sessions are an enlarged version of the party’s China Affairs Committee and are designed to formulate the core values and vision for the DPP’s China policy.
The first day’s meeting, chaired by Su, heard a report from Wu Hsiang-jung, the Director of the DPP Survey Center, as well as remarks by Chungshan University sociology professor Tsai Hung-cheng, legislator Kuan Bi-ling, former legislator Lin Cho-shui and Xintaibei City Party Committee Chairman Lo Chih-cheng.
Two former premiers, Frank Hsieh and Yu Shyi-kun were also in attendance, in addition to former legislator Shen Fu-hsiung. Frank Hsieh had originally said he would not participate in the meetings but changed his mind Wednesday, promising to participate in the first half of Thursday’s meeting.
Shen Fu-hsiung was blunt during a morning interview with the press, saying that "Hsieh came back empty-handed from this recent trip to Hong Kong." He explained that a senior Communist China official told him that older hands in China say Hsieh’s highly touted “One Constitution, Two Interpretations” is simply a re-hashing of the 92 Consensus.
Tsai Ing-wen is currently on a visit to Israel and will be unable to attend the earlier sessions of the forum.
Policy based on contemporary situations and issues
Su opened the session by noting that Taiwan’s policy toward China must be based on contemporary situations and issues. He noted that China is already becoming a very important factor in Taiwan, thus the Taiwanese strategy toward China must be increasingly flexible and sensitive. He said that even if it feels unfamiliar, the party must be pro-active in dealing with the situation. The DPP has an obligation, he said, to introduce policies toward China that will be more in line with the interests of Taiwan.
Taiwan is a pluralistic society, noted Su, where people make their own choices based on their own values. Different people have different interests and different demands. Externally, interaction between Taiwan and China involves much more than just exchanges between the two sides: it also involves neighboring countries and relations among the major powers that make up the regional balance of power.
Tsai Hung-cheng spoke on the topic of "Leading the Way into the Community and across the Strait," reminding the DPP that China is now using market force rather than the direct threat of war to split up Taiwan. He warned that China is seeking to fragment and ‘commercialize’ Taiwan so that it can be snapped up like pieces of property. Once that is done, China will set out to change Taiwan's social base with its roots in sovereignty and democracy and to change Taiwan's will, as its way of peacefully settling the Taiwan issue. Thus, he said, Taiwan must be strong and act in solidarity to resist China's "commercialization" of the island and to negate China’s advantages in size and might.
Lo Chih-cheng talked about the DPP’s need for new discourse and new strategies. He emphasized that the DPP should initiate new discussions on strategy and security, working to convince the major powers of the world that Taiwan's independent status quo is in their national interest. He said that Taiwan needs to establish its sovereignty and national prosperity as a part of discussions on economic issues, at the same time ensuring the development of democratic freedoms and human rights in its discussions of political matters.
Lo also introduced a 31-page report by independence advocate Lin Cho-shui which posits "Guaranteed Sovereignty," "Equitable Distribution", "Cross-strait Harmony" and "Smooth Communication" as four key elements that must be a part of any kind of blue-green strategy regarding China. He offered the report as another key to working out an ideal strategy for the DPP in facing up to China.
Facing China as one people
Su Tseng-chang pointed out that the majority of people in Taiwan are not satisfied with the current policy of the ruling party toward China. Thus it is necessary that the DPP take a firm position as a guardian of the Taiwan people, who generally view the party’s decision to get involved in cross-strait relations as a positive step.
Su said the DPP’s mission is to reach a consensus on cross-strait policy, working to strike a balance between the different needs and interests of the people of Taiwan.
He said that there are many different voices and many different opinions within the party regarding how to handle China. This is a normal phenomenon, he noted, and he looks forward to seeing a free and lively exchange of ideas during the coming month. He emphasized that the party is starting from the position that there is no right stance and no opposition stance. The only reality, he said, is that "We are faced with China, and we must all be on the same side."