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July 24, 2017

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DPP heavyweights differ on China over differing goals

TAIPEI -- Two bigwigs of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have different approaches toward China because of their differing goals, a scholar said Saturday.

Professor Tung Cheng-yuan of National Chengchi University said former Premier Frank Hsieh "wants to see the DPP return to power in the 2016 presidential election, and he thinks the party needs to discuss its cross-Taiwan Strait policy" to have a chance.

But DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, who also previously served as premier, has a different assessment of the political situation.

"Su thinks the economy is the most important issue, and he sees domestic issues as crucial to winning the seven-in-one elections in 2014," Tung said.

"Because of their different goals, they have different views."

Tung contended that domestic and cross-strait issues should go together. If the DPP is not willing to deal with the cross-strait issue, it will not get China to interact with it after the 2014 elections.

The two sides have to build a basis for exchanges, Tung said, but he argued that will be difficult because of sharply different views on cross-strait policy within the DPP. He suggested a debate was necessary to set a clear strategic goal.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Liang Wen-jie disagreed, saying there are few differences on China policy within the party, with the main view outside the mainstream being Hsieh's advocacy of dealing with China on the basis of the R.O.C. Constitution.

Most DPP members cannot accept such a view, according to Liang.

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