Meeting party chairmen not enough to solve Taiwan’s problems: DPP

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang would not be enough to solve Taiwan’s serious social security problems, the opposition party said Wednesday.
Spokesman Lin Chun-hsien was reacting to a suggestion by the party’s Central Executive Committee member Hung Chih-kun for a meeting between Su and Ma, who chairs the ruling Kuomintang.
Lin said the financial problems facing the country’s social security and pension systems were too large to become just the subject for a private meeting between party leaders. Instead, Ma should call a National Affairs Conference with independent experts, academics and social groups, Lin said, reiterating a proposal originally made by former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen.
The problems were too large and complex, and would affect all of the people, making a national conference necessary, Lin said. The government has repeatedly rejected Tsai’s proposal, saying the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan should hold hearings instead and come to a decision within the system.
The DPP said it was willing to assist the president in calling the conference and would help him resist pressure.
The DPP was an experienced opposition party which had proposed constructive plans many times, Lin said. It stood by the people and would reflect the public’s anger, he added, in a reference to party plans for massive protest marches and rallies on January 13. According to media reports, a series of local events leading up to the marches have received a positive response.
Lin also rejected another proposal from Hung to call all present and former DPP chairpersons to a meeting designed to discuss the party’s China policies. Concrete measures to respond to the evolving relations between Taiwan and China, the United States, Japan and Southeast Asia should be worked out by the leaders, Hung proposed.
Lin emphasized that the DPP was already working on the formation of a Chinese Affairs Committee which would discuss relevant issues. Su promised the formation of the committee during his bid for the DPP chairmanship earlier this year, and then announced he would serve as its convener himself.
The move followed a groundbreaking visit to China in early October by former Premier Frank Hsieh, who had been widely seen as the mostly likely candidate for the committee position. Hsieh’s meetings with Chinese officials and his praise of Taiwan’s Republic of China Constitution were seen as going too far too fast, according to some critics.
Sources close to Hsieh said Wednesday his foundation had the intention to sponsor a debate about relations with China next March, while the former DPP leader could travel there again in April.