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No conclusion on independence clause at DPP national meeting

2014/07/20 21:06:39

Taipei, July 20 (CNA) No conclusions were reached at the national congress of Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive (DPP) Sunday on proposals related to its much-debated party charter article that calls for the "establishment of a sovereign and independent Republic of Taiwan."

The proposals include one presented by Chen Zau-nan, a member of the DPP's Central Review Committee, to freeze the first article of the party charter, which is widely referred to as the "Taiwan independence clause."

Chen's petition, however, has triggered strong opposition from the diehard supporters of the clause, who have in turn initiated a counter-proposal against any moves to freeze the independence clause.

DPP member Tsai Meng-hsun proposed that the DPP should set a concrete dateline for Taiwan independence, while DPP lawmaker Chen Ting-fei advised the party to make efforts to "promote the normalization of Taiwan as a country."

Discussions of Chen's proposal were heated during the party's national congress, which was held at the Taipei International Convention Center, while pro-independence activists demonstrated outside the venue.

Responding to the failure to reach any agreement, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen suggested that the proposals, including a proposed resolution on cross-Taiwan Strait development and a plan to lower the minimum age for people applying to join the party from the current 18 years old to 16, be taken to the Central Executive Committee for further discussion.

"Time is needed for efforts to handle proposed amendments to the party charter or internal regulations," Tsai said.

The party leader did not rule out the possibility of holding another round of the national congress to deal with these matters after the Central Executive Committee comes up with its decisions on them.

Tsai's suggestion eventually won approval from the congress.

Asked about the result, Chen said he respects Tsai's judgment and believes that the Central Executive Committee will come to a conclusion on his proposal.

Chen has said that he sees Taiwan as already an independent country. "The `Taiwan independence clause' has finished its mission in history and there is no need for the DPP to hold on to it anymore; it should be frozen," he said.

Saying such a move would be for the good of the DPP and for Taiwan, Chen contended that shelving the clause will help the DPP win back the power it had in 2000-2008, as cross-strait issues will no longer be a hindrance.

(By Sophia Yeh, Justin Su and Elizabeth Hsu)