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DPP's call to put a freeze on 'independence clause' is worthy of praise: Hau

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday commended members of the opposition for proposing to freeze the so-called Taiwan independence clause in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) charter.

The mayor added that the Taiwan independence movement is not representative of mainstream opinion.

On the surface, the rivalry between the ruling party and the opposition is about legislative bills, but the most fundamental problem is the question of national identity, Hau said, adding that he has always advocated for reconciliation between the pan-blue and pan-green camps.

A day that the DPP doesn't deal with the Taiwan independence clause is another day of no reconciliation between the rival camps, the mayor said, adding that he commends the proposal within the DPP to freeze the clause.

The broadest consensus among the Taiwanese people lies with the Republic of China, and the Taiwan independence movement does not reflect mainstream opinion, Hau said, urging the DPP to heed the call.

Economy

Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) recently met with the president of South Korea and talked about a free trade agreement, talks for which may conclude by year's end. In response, President Ma Ying-jeou said that he was very concerned since South Korea is regarded as a rival of Taiwan and mainland China is Taiwan's largest trading partner.

 Taiwan's economic future is still unclear, especially given that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and the bill on the Free Economic Pilot Zones are still stuck in the Legislative Yuan, the mayor of Taipei said.

 The administration has not been able to carry out several major policies because of the deadlock in the Legislature, and the president said on Thursday that if Taiwan does not stop the infighting, what will collapse is not the Kuomintang but Taiwan's economy, Hau said, adding that he agrees with the president.

  Global economic liberalization is a major trend, and in order to survive and develop, Taiwan needs to face reality, Hau said.

 Of course the ruling party and the opposition can have different opinions on economic strategies and legislative bills, but they have to be pragmatic and reasonable, Hau said, adding that he is supportive of the DPP freezing the Taiwan independence clause, because the freeze will allow the ruling party and the opposition to shelve the problem of identity and return to a rational discussion on bills and policies.

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