TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – At the annual congress of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on Sunday, July 15, delegates unanimously vetoed a proposal to alter the party platform by rescinding previously affirmed pro-Taiwan Independence resolutions.
The proposal to amend the DPP’s charter was brought forward by delegate Hsu Han-sheng (許瀚升), who claimed that shifting the party away from its pro-independence platform would prove politically expedient in maintaining the status-quo, which Tsai Ing-wen has consistently emphasized is a priority of her administration.
The party leadership and majority of delegates overwhelmingly disagreed with proposal, reaffirming the DPP’s advocacy for a sovereign Taiwan, which was articulated in a 1991 party resolution calling for “an autonomous Republic of Taiwan.”
CNA reports that Hsu claimed rescinding previous pro-independence resolutions “echoed mainstream public opinion,” suggesting that doing so would prove beneficial to improving turnout in the November elections.
Hsu assumes that by rejecting previous declarations of the party seeking an autonomous and independent future for Taiwan, that the DPP would somehow help to forge a “Taiwan Consensus” and promote the DPP’s image as proactive in promoting peaceful relations with China.
Similar discussions concerning changing the DPP’s party platform have occurred in the past, with calls for the DPP to soften its stance and language regarding independence. Such calls are mostly stimulated by fears of possible increased aggression from China.
By rejecting the proposal to alter the DPP charter, the party effectively stands by its 1999 Resolution on Taiwan’s Future which asserts that Taiwan is already “a sovereign and independent country,” and that any changes to that status quo must be decided by a plebiscite reflecting the popular will of the Taiwanese people.
President Tsai, acting as party chairwoman, did not address the proposal at the annual DPP congress, with a majority of delegates in agreement that the proposal did not merit serious discussion.