DPP debates freezing 'independence' clause
By Katherine Wei, The China Post
July 20, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The former and incumbent chairs of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were seen debating indirectly over their perspectives regarding a former DPP lawmaker's suggestion to freeze the party's "Taiwan Independence" clause.
Former DPP lawmaker Chen Zau-nan (陳昭南) proposed in June that the DPP freeze the first article of the party charter, which is otherwise known as the "Taiwan Independence clause," as it calls for the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan. The same suggestion had been proposed by DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) last December, who felt that the party's grasp on the clause would delay its return to power.
Former Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) noted that he felt the party should respond to the proposal immediately in order to prevent misunderstandings, while Tsai responded that she was in line with the country's name being "Taiwan" and how the country insisted on being independent. "All this has become a natural element (within Taiwan); how would you freeze or eliminate something like this?" Tsai asked.
The DPP will be holding its annual party congress today, during which the heated topic of the charter freeze will undoubtedly turn up.
Pointing out earlier yesterday that Taiwan is a country with independent sovereign rights, Su went on to repeat a recent favorite claim of the pan-green camp, saying that Taiwan's future should be determined by its 23 million people. "This is what the majority of people wishes and it is also a consensus reached by society," said Su.
The former chairman called for the DPP to have faith in its stance and beliefs and also to have confidence in the perspective held by the majority of people in Taiwan. "An immediate response would also lessen the possibility of intraparty conflicts," said Su.
Taiwan is Already Independent: Tsai
Tsai later asked via a press release who had the right to define "Taiwan independence," going on to say "Aren't we a country with independent sovereign rights? And aren't the expectations of most Taiwanese people to strengthen our claim on our sovereign rights and participate in international affairs?" Tsai asked.
The Taiwan Independence clause is a pointer for the DPP's main goals from when it was just founded, said Tsai. "It is also what this generation's DPP members and Taiwanese people are pursuing."
The chairwoman also cited the party's Resolution on Taiwan's Future, which states that Taiwan is an independent country. "This has long been the consensus of many in Taiwan, and we hope to stabilize cross-strait relations and raise the quality of exchanges between Taiwan and China based on this consensus," said Tsai.