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May 27, 2017

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Relations between China, Taiwan important but complicated: DPP chair

LONDON -- Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang described the relationship between Taiwan and China as an important but "complicated" on Friday in London.

China represents trade opportunities but also poses a military and political threat to Taiwan, Su said during a talk on the future responsibilities of the DPP at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

The relationship between Taiwan and China is important, complicated and sensitive, said Su, who is on a week-long long visit to Europe with the aim of establishing contact between his party and European countries.

He said Taiwan has been investing too much in China over the past few years, causing a decrease in its trade relations with other major economies.

According to Su, the Taiwanese people are concerned that trade pacts signed with China are not being properly monitored.

Su also commented on the status of Taiwan, saying that his party believes Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country and that any move to change the status quo will have to be agreed upon by the Taiwanese people through democratic means.

He also said that the DPP has no plans to revise the Constitution of the Republic of China.

It will also not revise the "Taiwan independence clause" in the DPP charter, Su said, adding that the most important goal for his party right now is to win the trust of more people.

Meanwhile, Su thanked the European Union for keeping an arms embargo on China and said the nature of the Communist Party of China's rule remains the same as it was in 1989, when the EU imposed a ban on arms sales to China following the Tiananmen Square massacre that year.

When asked about the sovereignty of the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea, Su said that "the DPP's stance is very clear. The Diaoyutai Islands belong to Taiwan."

As for the election of a new DPP chairman in May, Su said he "does not have time to think about whether to run for chairman" as the more urgent task is the seven-in-one elections to be held in December.

The elections will be held to choose mayors, council members, county magistrates, county council members, township mayors and other local public officials.

They are seen as a skirmish between the ruling Kuomintang and opposition parties before the main battle — the presidential election to be held 13 months later.

London is the third stop on Su's European visit. He visited Germany and Belgium prior to arriving in the United Kingdom.

Su and his delegation left Taiwan Jan. 19 and are expected to return to the country Jan. 25. It is Su's first visit to Europe since he began serving as DPP head in 2012.

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