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Domestic rapprochement above Taiwan-China detente: expert

2011/01/23 18:03:18

Taipei, Jan. 23 (CNA) A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) expertsaid on Sunday that internal rapprochement within Taiwan is moreimportant than detente with China and warned that if the governmentignored dissenting views, "it would eventually lead to a more dividedTaiwan."

Joseph Wu, who served as Taiwan's top representative in theUnited States from 2007 to 2008 when the DPP was Taiwan's rulingparty, told a seminar that shaping a consensus inside Taiwan wasimportant because such a consensus was vital to Taiwan's "fundamentalinterests."

If the ruling party worked only to improve ties with China butrefused to listen to different views inside the country, it wouldultimately create greater division inside Taiwan, Wu said.

Speaking on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region followingChinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States, Wu said thepeople in Taiwan should understand the country's strategic values andset their strategic priorities accordingly.

He suggested that in the face of the new global situation, Taiwanshould work to improve its ties with China to avoid conflicts,diversify its economy to reduce its reliance on China, and strengthenits defense capabilities and its security relations with the U.S.

Taiwan should also try to boost its ties with Japan to expand itsstrategic maneuvering space as well as its ties with the U.S. andother allies in the region while working not to make the U.S. feel itis being betrayed as Taiwan improves ties with China, Wu added.

He acknowledged that some of his recommendations would not beeasy to implement but said that if Taiwan did not try to achievethem, it would face increasingly great difficulties.

"What we are facing is a united China that is becoming strongerand stronger, and a uniform China that does not have any differentviews, " so it is of utmost importance for Taiwan to try to forge aconsensus on diplomatic and cross-strait issues.

He said, however, that what the government was doing now wastrying to "suppress dissenting views" that challenge the government-- be they from inside the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) or the oppositionDPP.

"This will only harm the shaping of a consensus inside thecountry, " he said.

After warning that putting detente with China above rapprochementwith domestic dissidents will only widen division inside Taiwan, Wutargeted KMT critics who have demanded that the DPP achieve aconsensus within its own party before trying to have a dialogue withthe KMT.

The mainstream DPP stance on cross-strait relations, according toWu, who also served as Mainland Affairs Council minister, is stillthe party's resolution on Taiwan's future, and he stressed that amongthe DPP rank-and-file, there are no striking differences on Taiwan'sChina policy.

"By citing the opposition's internal differences to refuse totalk with the DPP, the KMT is doing nothing but making an excuse," Wusaid.

(By Sophia Yeh and S.C. Chang)