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Greens back Lai’s straight talk on Taiwan independence (update)
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-08 05:11 PM
On Saturday Huang Di-ying, spokesperson for the Democratic Progressive Party, came out in support of Tainan mayor William Lai's comments to Chinese scholars on Taiwan's position on independence. Huang said that Lai’s statements, which came during a symposium in Shanghai, were forthright and accurate and that as a citizen of a democratic society he believes has every right to express his opinion.

Huang added that Lai was expressing the opinion of the people of Taiwan and was also expressing the beliefs of the DPP, and he hopes that the people of China will understand his position. He said the party hopes that the two sides will be able to improve their understanding of each other’s way of thought, noting that if they can do so it will help to resolve differences and create opportunities for peace, stability and development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Huang stressed that the DPP has always advocated that differences between Taiwan and China should be resolved through real, meaningful communication and dialogue between the two sides. Such an approach will be helpful in establishing mutual understanding, respect and tolerance on both sides, said Huang, adding that in future cross-strait exchanges the party will continue to take an open and active approach to the development of better relations across the strait.

DPP chair Tsai Ing-wen took to Facebook on Sunday to add her thoughts on the Tainan mayor’s remarks. Tsai said that Lai’s comments in Shanghai encapsulated the history of the DPP’s approach to dealing with the other side of the Taiwan Strait. She said Lai’s statements should be very useful in helping both sides to seek better mutual understanding and common grounds on which to base discussion in the future. This, she said, will create more opportunities for peace, stability and development on both sides.

Tsai said the DPP has always tried to maintain a positive and proactive attitude in exchanges between the two sides,. She noted that the party welcomes Chinese officials to visit Taiwan for non-political purposes so that they can have more contact with the people of Taiwan and have an opportunity to hear the diverse voices and opinions of citizens on the island.

Tsai said that the two sides should engage in frank exchanges and dialogue and seek better mutual understanding. She added that during the past few years the Ma government has not followed the principles of democracy in dealing with cross-strait affairs. It has failed to engage the people of Taiwan in communications and dialogue on major issues concerning the other side of the strait, an oversight that caused a lot of great deal of dissatisfaction and controversy among the people. She said that the DPP hopes to make up for this failure in the future in its discussions of cross-strait issues.

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