DPP not opposed to Taiwan-China presidential meet
Joseph Wu explains China policies at CSIS
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-15 04:52 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Democratic Progressive Party does not oppose a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese leader Xi Jinping if it does not affect Taiwan’s interests, opposition policy chief Joseph Wu said Tuesday.

The president recently said he should be allowed to attend this year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, but China countered that an international event was not a suitable site for a cross-straits meeting.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., Wu said discussions between Ma and Xi would form an important step in the normalization of relations between Taiwan and China, but there were still elements to be worried about.

The president needs to emphasize that Taiwan is not a part of China but a sovereign and independent nation with the Republic of China as its current official name, Wu said. If Ma succeeds in clarifying this point, then the DPP has no reason to oppose his meeting with the Chinese president, Wu concluded.

The former Mainland Affairs Council minister now serves as the opposition party’s top policy chief and also regularly visits the United States as the DPP’s official representative in that country.

On Tuesday, he explained the latest trends in the party’s China policies at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Wu suggested that leading DPP members might try to launch a new formula which could replace and combine existing resolutions and clauses concerning China policies in the party charter.

Last week, the DPP’s China Affairs Committee concluded months of debates and discussions with a general overview of what China policies should be. It recommended deeper contacts between DPP-dominated local governments and think tanks with counterparts on the other side of the Taiwan Straits without losing sight of Taiwan’s overall interests.

More far-reaching suggestions from individual DPP leaders, such as a freeze of the Taiwan Independence clause proposed by legislative chief whip Ker Chien-ming or former Premier Frank Hsieh’s “constitutional consensus,” were not adopted. The committee left the way clear for more discussions and changes in the future, while DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said the priority for the opposition party should now be the year-end local elections.

Some lawmakers also called for a debate about China policies before they were formally adopted.

In a radio interview Tuesday, Su said Beijing should leave Taiwan more international space because its present attempts at excluding the island would harm itself as well.

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