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Group asks DPP not to freeze independence clause

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A citizen group yesterday appealed for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to freeze its “Taiwan Independence clause” and protested against any signs of the party's “Kuomintangization.”

The pro-Taiwan-independence “Taiwan as a Happy Country Front” organized a protest near the DPP's headquarters yesterday, voicing its protest against former DPP lawmaker Chen Zau-nan's (陳昭南) proposal to freeze the first article of the party charter, which is otherwise known as the “Taiwan Independence clause” as it calls for the establishment of the Republic of Taiwan.

The group also protested against any DPP leanings toward the ruling and pan-blue Kuomintang (KMT), and called for Chen and fellow proposer/former DPP Legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) to withdraw their DPP memberships.

Chen had proposed the freeze in June, claiming that the proposal would bring the DPP one step closer to winning the presidential election in 2016.

“Taiwan is a country with independent sovereignty; it is called the Republic of China and the sovereignty belongs to its 23 million people: the aforementioned is the consensus of the majority in Taiwan,” said Chen. “The 'Taiwan independence clause' has finished its mission in history, and there is no need for the DPP to hold up the clause anymore; it should be frozen.

“This is for the good of the DPP and Taiwan. Do not allow cross-strait issues to become a hindrance when the DPP is getting back in power. The KMT has to end its reign,” Chen said.

Many of the DPP's incumbent legislators have openly declared their disapproval of Chen's proposal.

Protesters Threaten to 'Make Another Scene'

As the DPP is getting ready to hold its party congress on July 20, many eyes are focused on the outcome of the possible debate between supporters of Chen's proposal and those who do not share the same viewpoint.

“If the DPP does not handle this properly, we are planning to 'make another scene' at its party congress on July 20,” the protesters said.

In an interview, Chen reiterated his stance that Taiwan is already an independent country with its own sovereignty, as the KMT's one-party reign had ended after the parliament was re-elected and the president was elected by the people.

“The citizen group is fiercely against the concept of 'Taiwan' being equivalent to the 'Republic of China'; it should ask DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) why she had claimed 'the R.O.C. is Taiwan, and Taiwan is the R.O.C.' during her presidential campaign in 2012,” said Chen.

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) seconded Chen's statement of Taiwan being an independent country, but stated that the main focus should be placed on pushing Taiwan into becoming a “normal country.”

Former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) stated from experience that the possibility of passing similar proposals are next to none if no negotiations are made beforehand. “So there would be no need for protests,” said Hsieh.

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Pro-Taiwan-independence activists hold up banners protesting against former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Chen Zau-nan's (陳昭南) proposal to freeze the party's “Taiwan Independence clause” in front of the DPP headquarters in Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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