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Former DPP chairwoman urged to visit Beijing

2012/05/16 17:55:50

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) A noted political commentator in Taiwan has suggested that Tsai Ing-wen, former chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), take the opportunity while she has no party or public obligations to visit Beijing and try to talk with future Chinese leaders there.

Such a visit would be "good for the DPP and for Taiwan," said Wang Hsing-ching, better known as Nanfang Shuo, in an interview with Tsai.

The interview was published Wednesday in The Journalist, an independent magazine that discusses politics, economics, society, culture and international relations.

In response, Tsai said she will carefully weigh the suggestion.

"I will not rule out the possibility" of making such a visit under the right circumstances, said Tsai, a former head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council.

She said she learned early in her political career that good negotiators usually calculate the risks and know how to use their bargaining chips to achieve the best results.

Therefore, before engaging in any negotiation, one needs to be clear about the factors involved, said Tsai, who stepped down as DPP chairwoman after she lost the presidential election in January to incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou.

On the question of whether China policy was one of the DPP's weak points, Tsai said it is difficult to determine whether it is a weakness or a strength.

What she knows for sure, Tsai said, is that the Kuomintang's China-leaning policy has cost the ruling party its bargaining chips in its negotiations with China.

Now, it is the DPP that has the bargaining chips, she said.

"The DPP has a clearer stance on national sovereignty," Tsai said, noting that although the party has paid a high price to defend its position on sovereignty, it has gained greater public trust than the Kuomintang.

That is the advantage the DPP has in terms of cross-Taiwan Strait relations, she added.

Tsai was elected as DPP chairwoman in 2008, becoming the first female leader of the pro-independence party and was also Taiwan's first female presidential candidate.

Despite her loss to Ma earlier this year, she continues to enjoy high popularity among DPP supporters and pro-independent activists.

(By Lin Shen-hsu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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