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June 25, 2017

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Former opposition DPP lawmaker pans party's China policy

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suffers from "ostrich syndrome" in their handling of cross-strait policy, said a former DPP lawmaker yesterday.

Earlier this week, Zhang Guanhua (張冠華) of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中國社會科學院) publicly urged the DPP to be pragmatic and to face "the real China."

Julian Kuo (郭正亮), who has served stints as a DPP legislator and convener of the DPP's Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) Committee, said he agrees with the sentiment.

The DPP continues to lack concrete policies to govern the cross-strait relationship. Instead, when faced with cross-strait changes the party tends to simply bury its head in the sand, said Kuo in Taipei yesterday.

For example, the Investment Review Commission (資審議委員會) granted three Chinese firms permission to invest some NT$4 billion in Kaohsiung Harbor.

DPP lawmakers voiced diverse opinions about the decision, but the party's central headquarters failed to integrate the views into a formal party statement, said Kuo.

The DPP must have a clear and unambiguous stance about mainland Chinese capital in Taiwan, as well as about other political and trade issues such as whether to establish cross-strait representative offices, he said.

Kuo accused the newly established China Affairs Committee (中國事務委員會) of dragging its feet on performing critical tasks.

"Just because Frank Hsieh and Yu Shyi-kun are not participating doesn't mean that operations should stand still. Aren't there other people in the DPP?" he said.

Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) director of DPP's Department of China Affairs, refuted Kuo's claims. There is no ostrich mentality — the DPP is actively developing its cross-strait platform, he said.

The DPP's stance toward establishing cross-strait offices is conditional support, he said.

Because interactions between China and Taiwan are growing stronger and more frequent, cross-strait representative offices are a must. But offices must be equal and transparently run, said Hong, adding that the DPP will not support offices at the cost of Taiwan's sovereignty and dignity.

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