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July 25, 2017

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As Beijing transitions, DPP to launch series of events detailing China stance

TAIPEI--In light of the approach of China's political transition, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to hold a series of seminars and conferences, as well as release papers and reports, on its stance on the issue by October.

"We will launch a series of events ahead of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China," said Liu Shih-chung, director of the DPP's Department of International Affairs.

It is also part of the party's efforts to show its willingness and good intentions to get to know more about the country on the other side of the Taiwan Strait, he added.

Liu, however, did not give further details of the events or the dates on which they will take place.

As for re-establishing a DPP department of China affairs, Liu said that "there is no timetable" for such a move, adding that his department is currently in charge of China affairs and that it is first focusing more on "studying and understanding" China.

In addition, Liu cited DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, who said in a closed-door meeting with former U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman Jr. that he is willing to visit China as DPP chairman and that he also welcomes Chinese officials to visit Taiwan.

China and the DPP need to increase their mutual understanding and reduce misunderstandings, Liu said, citing Su.

Su also told Huntsman during the hourlong meeting that the biggest cross-strait challenge is the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty. The majority of Taiwan's people see Taiwan as a sovereign and independent nation, not part of China, Su said.

Despite increasing economic exchanges with China, Taiwan should keep valuing its democracy, freedom and human rights, the DPP chairman added.

The DPP's pro-independence stance has long been seen as its biggest hurdle in its attempts to seek bilateral engagements, as Beijing considers Taiwan a province that will one day be unified with China.

As for Taiwan-U.S. relations, Su said that in order to let U.S. Congress hear more voices instead of only the ruling Kuomintang, the DPP is mulling whether to set up a representative office in the U.S. to strengthen bilateral cooperation, according to Liu.

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