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DPP to hold more discussion on China policy: spokesman
Central News Agency
2014-01-10 11:19 PM
Taipei, Jan. 10 (CNA) The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acknowledged Friday that it has yet to forge a consensus from the many views expressed in its China policy debate and said that more discussion was needed. DPP spokesperson Chang Chun-han said the party held an open attitude to different views and would discuss them in the next stage of the debate, without saying when the next stage would occur. The DPP ended a six-month debate on its China policy on Thursday without making any changes to its stance on Taiwan-China relations, except to try and create a "friendly environment" for Chinese students, tourists and spouses in Taiwan. The party upheld the basic stance and core values of its 1999 Resolution on Taiwan's Future, which states that Taiwan is a sovereign independent country and that any change in its status will need the approval of its residents through a referendum. The resolution was the guiding principle for cross-strait relations when the DPP governed Taiwan between 2000 and 2008. Chang said the DPP's China policy review issued Thursday represented the first time that the party has built a platform to collect views and try to forge a consensus. It was a "responsible thing for the party" to respond to society's call for the DPP to review its China policy, which was widely seen as a major factor in the party's defeat in the 2012 presidential election. China's Taiwan Affairs Office contended Friday that the DPP's China policy still stubbornly adhered to its "Taiwan independence" stance based on "one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait," and was using national security to hinder normal exchanges between the two sides. Chang said that if Beijing responded to Taiwan in such a rigid manner all the time, it would not be helpful to the party's efforts to improve cross-strait relations. Former Premier Frank Hsieh was also critical of Thursday's report, saying Friday that even though the policy debate had come to a conclusion, the public was still not aware of the policy's substance. The 6,000-word summary of the debate only mentioned the Republic of China Constitution once and that was when it brought up the Resolution on Taiwan's Future, giving the impression that the party was trying to avoid the issue, he said. He also said the party did a private survey showing that the approval rating for the DPP's cross-strait policy was only 27 percent, compared with the ruling Kuomintang's 35 percent, which he attributed to the party's China policy lacking clarity. "We need to find a consensus with an approval rating of over 60 percent," Hsieh said. The former premier said that DPP mayors and county magistrates preside over national flag-raising ceremonies and that most young people accept the ROC flag, which represents the mainstream. "If we are still avoiding the Constitution and the Republic of China, then we are not aligned with mainstream values," he said. (By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)
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