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Parties react to Ker's call to suspend independence clause

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Both the Kuomintang and the Democratic Progressive Party officially commented yesterday on DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming's (柯建銘) proposal to suspend the DPP's Taiwan Independence Clause (台獨黨綱) during the party's Conference on China Policy on Dec. 26.

As it has already accomplished its essential purpose, said Ker during the conference, the DPP should consider officially suspending its Taiwan Independence Clause because in the current day and age, the clause has proved itself an obstacle in the DPP's relations with mainland China.

The Taiwan Independence Clause serves as the governing, if not core, article in the party platform of the DPP. With the aim of establishing the “Republic of Taiwan” (台灣共和國), the clause differentiates between the rights and sovereignty of the island of Taiwan from that of mainland China.

Ker's proposition came as a curveball that was ignored by most. The proposition was not, however, a complete surprise, with Ker having previously discussed the proposal with DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌).

Following the proposal, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) urged DPP leaders to completely abolish the clause, and most importantly, to clearly assert the current position of the DPP on holding the clause as its core value.

Yang said the Taiwan Independence Clause advocates the democratic voting process to establish the Republic of Taiwan. The act, claimed Yang, is significantly divorced from reality as well as public opinion, a fact that the DPP refuses to face even after eight years in government.

While on the point, Yang continued to criticize the DPP, accusing the party of lacking consistency and stability. Before the DPP took power, said Yang, the party published the “Resolution on Taiwan's Future” (台灣前途決議文) in 1999 recognizing the independence of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) from the People's Republic of China. Yet soon after DPP's election win, the party published the Normal Country Resolution (正常國家決議文), regressing back to the party's original stance.

The R.O.C. has been long established as an independent country, continued Yang, and the view has always served as the position of the KMT. If the suspension of the clause is the DPP's method of recognizing the R.O.C., then the KMT will welcome the DPP with open arms.

In conclusion to his statement, Yang stated that due to the nature of the proposal, Ker's values will most likely be disregarded within the DPP. And even if the DPP does approve the suspension, if not outright abolishing the Taiwan Independence Clause, the act will most likely be a publicity stunt for the sake of the upcoming elections.

Various members of the DPP have since been interviewed and responded to Ker's recommendation, including party leaders such as Su.

Su responded in an interview yesterday, that the Resolution on Taiwan's Future of the DPP confirmed the independence of Taiwan, and any change in this stance will have to be decided by the 23 million Taiwanese people.

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