DPP dismisses report on contacts with China

Taipei, April 10 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Wednesday denied a report that DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang sent an aide to Thailand to meet officials from the Chinese Communist Party's Taiwan affairs office. "There was absolutely no such thing," said DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien, condemning the report and describing it as making groundless accusations. The China Times reported on Wednesday that Su, to avoid a backlash from China over his idea to formulate a democratic alliance with neighboring countries, sent an aide to a third country to meet officials from the Communist Party's Taiwan affairs office and explain his stance. Meanwhile, Hung Tsai-lung, director of the DPP's China Affairs Department, said the party was considering whether to have its think tank, the New Frontier Foundation, establish contacts with Chinese counterparts or even co-host an academic seminar. The DPP has not been afraid of or opposed to China and has advocated "positive and confident engagements with China," Hung said. He said the DPP was quietly checking to see how much interest there would be in an academic seminar co-hosted by the foundation and Chinese think tanks. "No Chinese counterparts have made any promises to accept such an invitation as of yet," he said. He expressed the hope that the seminar could be held this year and would not be confined to a discussion of political issues but would be a wide-open dialogue that would touch on democracy and human rights. The party, which has traditionally been perceived as pro-Taiwan independence and anti-China, has reconsidered its cross-Taiwan Strait policy since losing the 2012 presidential election. (By Justine Su and Lilian Wu)