Freezing Taiwan independence clause will take time: DPP head
Central News Agency
2014-07-01 11:07 PM
Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said Tuesday that a party's platform is its backbone and that it will take time, as well as internal party consensus, to amend any party articles, including the Taiwan independence clause. Tsai made the remarks at an international press briefing in Taipei, explaining the party's stance on major political issues such as attitudes toward China, trade agreements and the year-end seven-in-one elections. When asked about her view on a proposal by 40 DPP members to freeze the Taiwan independence clause that became part of the party's platform in 1991, Tsai pointed out that the Resolution on Taiwan's Future, ratified by the party in 1999, has largely superseded the independence clause. "The resolution is the explanation of the party's platform, and it is also the party's policy and consensus at the moment," she was quoted as saying in a statement released by the DPP. The resolution says that Taiwan's sovereignty rests with its 23 million people and that any change of the status quo should be decided through referendum, which she said shows how the party has enriched the content of its platform over time and in stages. The proposal, put forward by former DPP legislators Chen Zau-nan and Kuo Jeng-liang, and former Mainland Affairs Council Vice Minister Tung Chen-yuan among others, collected nearly 40 signatures -- twice the number required for it to be put on the agenda of the party's national congress scheduled to take place July 20. According to the proposal, the adoption of the clause came at a time when Taiwan was yet to be democratized and cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges had yet to normalized, but since the clause has now completed its gradual mission, it can be frozen so that the party's cross-strait efforts are not hampered by it and so that the ruling Kuomintang no longer dominates the Taiwan side in engagements with China. As for cross-strait relations, Tsai said the DPP is glad to see direct dialogue between Taiwan and China, but added that it is more important that China recognizes Taiwan's public opinion. Maintaining regional peace and stability will be the DPP's first priority if it takes power in the future, she went on, adding that the party will keep seeking active dialogue with China, to allow Beijing to fully understand the DPP's policies and principles. Any exchanges between the two sides should be based on equality, she noted, adding that in order to achieve balance, Taiwan should increase its military spending to 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product. When asked about the DPP's year-end election goal, Tsai said she is confident her party will take three of the municipalities, including Taichung, as well as at least six cities and counties. (By Su Lung-chi and James Lee)
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