Former Premier Su Tseng-chang was sworn in as chairman of Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Wednesday.
The results of an opinion poll conducted by a local press group showed that 58 percent of people in Taiwan are happy to see Su's election as the new DPP chairman.
Up to 66 percent of the respondents also said they hope Su and President Ma Ying-jeou will meet to create a framework forbipartisan dialogue and thus help reduce the polarization and confrontation between the country's two major political camps.
The survey further found that 60 percent of the respondentssupport a proposal that Su make an ice-breaking visit to China.
On the possibility of Su traveling to China as DPP chairman, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Yang Yi said at a regular press briefing Wednesday that the DPP's pro-independence stance has been the biggest hurdle to bilateral engagements.
The following is an excerpt of the local media coverage of the challenges facing Su and public expectations of his performance:
President Ma congratulated Su by phone immediately after thelatter won the five-way DPP chairman election on Sunday. Ma alsoexpressed his wish to hold a cross-party summit to forge anational consensus on major policy issues.
Su was reported to have given Ma a positive answer during theirrare phone conversation.
An opinion survey conducted by this paper on May 28 found that 66 percent of the respondents supported the idea of a Ma-Su meetingand 10 percent opposed such a proposal, with 24 percent having nodefinite views on the idea.
An analysis of the survey results show that 77 percent of KMTsupporters and 68 percent of pro-DPP respondents back a Ma-Su meeting, while 61 percent of non-partisan respondents think it's a good idea as it would promote social harmony and inter-party reconciliation.
In the run-up to the DPP chairmanship election, Su said he would considervisiting China at an opportune time and under appropriate terms.
The telephone poll of 1,126 randomly chosen adults found that 60 percent backed Su's proposal of a visit to China, 16 percent opposed the idea, and 24 percent did not answer the question.
Meanwhile, 75 percent of pro-KMT respondents said they supportedthe proposal of Su visiting China and 56 percent of pro-DPPrespondents also backed it.
Asked about his views on the poll, Su's spokesman Wang Min-sheng said Su is willing to visit China in his capacity as DPP chairman at an appropriate time as long as Beijing authorities do not impose any prerequisites. (May 30, 2012)
United Evening News:
Yang Yi, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office, said the DPP'sobservance of "one country on each side of the Taiwan Strait" has hinderedits engagements with Beijing over the years.
"Our doors remain open and the key to bilateral engagements hingeson whether the DPP will remove the obstacles it has imposed on itself," Yang said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.
Emphasizing that peaceful development is the mainstream approach incross-strait relations, Yang said the DPP's pro-independenceadvocacy would lead nowhere. (May 30, 2012).
(By Sofia Wu)