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July 22, 2017

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China-related issues to be discussed at opposition forums

TAIPEI -- The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is scheduled to hold four forums centering upon China-related issues on four consecutive Tuesdays starting from Sept. 11 to allow the party to communicate with the public regarding such issues.

The events are part of the DPP's "Open Studio" forums. Three forums on youth-related topics have already been held on Aug. 21 and 28, as well as on Sept. 4.

Participants at the first "face China" forum will discuss China's politics, while the remaining three forums will target topics related to China's society, economy and human rights situation, according to the DPP's website.

The series of public "Open Studio" forums have the aim of attracting young people and people from different backgrounds to express their opinions, according to a DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien.

Concerning deliberation on the party's China policies, Lin said that the DPP has other platforms for such discussion, such as its council of China affairs, which is being established.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang is set to attend all of the "face China" forums, another DPP spokesman Wang Ming-shen said a day earlier.

Hung Chih-kun, a member of the DPP's Central Executive Committee, suggested Sunday on his Facebook page that the party should actively invite party heavyweights from different generations and different factions like former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and former Premier Frank Hsieh.

According to a party member familiar with related affairs, Hsieh was a potential candidate to serve as the convener of the future council.

Hung explained that Hsieh could gain a better understanding of different opinions on such issues by taking part in the forums if Hsieh became the council's convener.

In addition, Tsai's past experience as the minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council will allow the participants to have wider deliberation on China issue.

In response, a member of Tsai's staff expressed "respect for any suggestions from the party's members," while Hsieh's office said the former premier was currently out of the country.

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