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May 29, 2017

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Opposition party still waits on conclusion to cross-strait policy talks

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) China Affairs Committee (CAC) held its fifth meeting yesterday afternoon, with former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) telling local press after the meeting that the party has not reached a conclusion on cross-strait policies.

The meeting took two and a half hours, with members reporting the party's current cross-strait policies. DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), former Chairman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), former Premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) and Hsieh participated in the meeting.

Hsieh told reporters that during the meeting, the CAC members exchanged opinions over the issues of the DPP's cross-strait think tank and the exchanges between mainland China's cities and DPP-dominated cities.

Hsieh said that the DPP still has to discuss the party's China policies, noting that the "conclusion" made today is not final. However, the party has reached consensuses on the issues regarding Chinese students in Taiwan, Chinese national spouses and communication between cross-strait think tanks.

Hsieh said in regards to cross-strait policies, he supports an ideology which he dubbed "Two Sides, Two Constitutions" in 2011, meaning that Taiwan and China are governed by each side's distinctively different constitutions. He explained that the ideology is superior to the "One China" concept, in which both China and Taiwan claim to be the only existing "China."

Before the meeting started, Hsieh told local reporters that he hopes the party will hold a public survey over the DPP's cross-strait policies, noting that the party should know people's views on the issue.

When asked if the CAC had come to a conclusion regarding Hsieh's proposals, Hsieh said "we haven't made one yet, we still look for opinions from people." He added that the most important thing for the party is to make its cross-strait policies explicit, noting that whether a change to current policies is made or not, the chairman of the party should make the stance clear.

Hsieh said he thinks the "conclusion" the CAC made today does not clearly state the party's future direction, adding that some of the sentences are even repetitions.

When asked the possibility of the DPP's think tank going to mainland China, Tsai said it is always good to have interactions.

CAC spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said that CAC members hold different opinions regarding the "constitutional" issues, noting that the CAC will further discuss the issues next time.

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