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September 20, 2017

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Now's 'not the time' to combine elections: Su

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) declared it was "not the time yet" to integrate the party's chairman elections with the presidential nomination and a debate concerning the DPP's China policies in an interview yesterday.

This was Su's first interview after the party recently released its China policies.

DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) shared the proposal on her Facebook page yesterday. Since the seven-in-one elections fall at the end of this year, it would be impossible to hold the presidential primaries at the same time; but if the primaries were postponed until 2015, the ultimate nominee may be left with too short a preparation period, said Kuan, who added "but this is only a rough suggestion, it still has to be discussed."

In response to Kuan's proposal, Su said the DPP possessed its own regulations and fixed procedures regarding such matters; the seven-in-one elections are the party's top priority currently. "The second-stage candidate nomination is coming up; we are also holding a gathering to boost the party's unity and fighting spirit. This year is a busy one," said Su.

The people are suffering now, their thoughts will be reflected in the votes they cast; the DPP should take advantage of this opportunity to show people that it is capable of ruling the nation well and not hurt the people by focusing on something minor, said Su.

The China Policies Not Sole Problem of DPP

The DPP recently released a conclusion of its cross-strait policy discussions, which Su said were the result of the party's primary phase of consensus. "We will take time to discuss and debate on the policies in the future, but our efforts will be focused on the elections now," Su stressed.

The chairman also said that the DPP's China policies and its attitude toward China were not the sole reason for its loss in the last presidential elections; the party has a lot to think about.

"We lost because of many reasons, something we should ponder. The cross-strait policies were not the only, or even the most important factor that resulted in our defeat," said Su, referring to rumors that some blamed the policies for affecting votes.

The party can discuss its cross-strait policies anytime and exchange differing opinions, but the most crucial thing is to figure out how to reach a consensus. "The names, the format of the policies are trivial matters; we ought to focus on reaching a consensus and to respect people's rights to express their opinions."

Su's Gull Theory

In reference to Taiwan's relationship with China, Su used the habits of gulls as an example. "There is a single bird and a person walking on the beach, but if the person doesn't grab at the bird it won't fly away. It walks on its own and the person does the same, both of you watch each other and things are going well," said Su.

"If China wants to win the hearts of the Taiwanese people, China should give Taiwan some encouragement and some space," said Su.

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