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China Times: DPP's China policy at crucial juncture

2010/12/23 16:24:31

When the chief negotiators across the Taiwan Strait, ChiangPin-kung of Taiwan and China's Chen Yunlin, first held talks inTaipei two years ago, the pro-independence opposition DemocraticProgressive Party led massive protests against the meeting.

But similar scenes did not occur when Chiang and Chen met witheach other in Taipei this week. During the run-up to last month'sspecial municipality elections, the DPP did not even challenge theeconomic cooperation framework agreement signed with China in June,because surveys conducted by the DPP itself revealed that more than50 percent of the public are in favor of the trade deal.

With two years having passed since cross-Taiwan Strait dialoguewas resumed, the two sides have engaged in even closer economicexchanges. Furthermore, the possibility for de jure independence forTaiwan has completely vanished following failure by thepro-independence force to promote a referendum on a new constitutionduring the former DPP administration.

Under these circumstances, putting forward a pragmatic Chinapolicy is a major challenge facing the DPP leadership. This is anissue that the party cannot bypass when bidding for the 2012presidency.

If the DPP backtracks to its old anti-China line, the party willprobably lose the support of swing voters that it has managed toobtain over the past year. (Editorial abstract -- Dec. 23, 2010)

(By Y.F. Low)