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DPP bigwigs differ on China because of different goals: scholar

DPP bigwigs differ on China because of different goals: scholar

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Two heavyweights of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have different approaches toward China because of their differing goals, a scholar said Saturday. Professor Tung Cheng-yuan of National Chengchi University said former Premier Frank Hsieh "wants to see the DPP return to power in 2016 presidential election, and he thinks the party needs to discuss its cross-Taiwan Strait policy" to have a chance. But DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, who also previously served as premier, has a different assessment of the political situation. "Su thinks the economy is the most important issue, and he sees domestic issues as crucial to winning the seven-in-one elections in 2014," Tung said. "Because of their different goals, they have different views." Tung contended that domestic and cross-strait issues should go together. If the DPP is not willing to deal with the cross-strait issue, it will not get China to interact with it after the 2014 elections. The two sides have to build a basis for exchanges, Tung said, but he argued that will be difficult because of sharply different views on cross-strait policy within the DPP. He suggested a debate was necessary to set a clear strategic goal. DPP Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-jie disagreed, saying there are few differences on China policy within the party, with the main view outside the mainstream being Hsieh's advocacy of dealing with China on the basis of the ROC Constitution. Most DPP members cannot accept such a view, according to Liang. The DPP, commonly seen as being anti-China and supporting Taiwan's independence, is rethinking its cross-strait policy after losing the Jan. 14 presidential election this year. Hsieh's recent visit to China is considered to be a step in that direction, and it triggered a debate within the party on what its approach toward China should be. While Hsieh advocates dealing with China on the basis of the Republic of China Constitution, Su said clearly that such an approach was Hsieh's own view and not the stance of the party. Lai I-chung, the former head of the DPP's China affairs department, said an intraparty debate on China policy will have to wait for a while because several nations, including the United States, China and South Korea, are holding presidential elections or undergoing a leadership transition. "If the DPP wants to discuss its cross-strait policy, it will have to wait until after the end of the year at the earliest, when the transition of leadership has become largely clear." But Lai also said the DPP should not wait until after the seven-in-one elections in 2014 to discuss cross-strait policy. He suggested that the party should set its tone on China after the new Chinese leadership becomes settled in March 2013. (By Justin Su and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-04-13 15:55 GMT+08:00