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September 21, 2017

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DPP envoy conveys party's China policy to US

WASHINGTON -- Joseph Wu, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's representative to the United States, echoed some of the party chairman's bird-related analogies at a U.S. think tank on Tuesday to describe the DPP's latest version of its China policy.

Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank, on the party's China policy, Wu used the seagull on the beach analogy broached by DPP Chairman Su Tseng- chang in which Taiwan was likened to a seagull and China to a man on a beach.

If China wants to get closer to Taiwan, it should use peaceful and friendly means, but if it continues to suppress Taiwan, Taiwanese people will fly further away from China, just as the seagull on a beach flies away when harassed by humans, Wu said.

Wu also cited Su's analogy comparing Taiwan to a canary in a mineshaft.

China puts intense pressure on Taiwan, Wu said, and if it makes an unusual move, Taiwan, like the canary in the mineshaft, will send out warning signals to other countries with whom China has controversial relations.

The analogies, which prod Beijing to use peaceful and friendly methods to build closer ties with Taiwan, reflect the DPP's China policy, which has been in the news recently after the party issued a report last week summarizing its views on the issue.

The report, completed after a six-month internal party debate on how Taipei should deal with Beijing, made few changes to the DPP's stance on Taiwan-China relations, except to try and create a "friendly environment" for Chinese students, tourists and spouses in Taiwan.

The party upheld the basic stance and core values of its 1999 Resolution on Taiwan's Future, which states that Taiwan is a sovereign independent country and that any change in its status will need the approval of its residents through a referendum.

Some believe that the lack of a clear China policy cost the DPP the 2012 presidential election, and many criticized last week's report as doing little to move the debate forward.

Wu was among those who disputed the notion that the report was old wine in a new bottle, noting that the report did adopt a friendlier tone and also stressed the idea of a sustainable relationship and the need for both sides to respect human rights and democracy.

China+1 Concept

In his speech in Washington, Wu advocated the China+1 concept broached by Su, saying that the concept would benefit Taiwanese enterprises and Taiwan's overall interests.

The concept conveys the idea that China should not restrict Taiwan's maneuvering room in the international community, Wu said, and if Taiwan and China could stand in the world together, that would be "China+1."

Michael Green, senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the CSIS, described the DPP's recent discourse on cross-strait ties and Taiwan's sovereignty as reasonable.

The DPP's summary of its China policy review was cautiously worked out, showing that the party will be responsible and no longer produce surprises on relations with China as it did when it was in power from 2000 to 2008, Green said.

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