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Talk of the Day -- Uncle Sam let down by DPP?

2014/04/04 17:26:34

In a front-page analysis Friday, the United Evening News tried to make sense of a series of recent comments by American officials and academics on the student-led protest over a trade-in-services agreement with China and the role of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the standoff.

The following are excerpts of the article, titled "America makes its move; Is U.S. disappointed by DPP?":

The series of comments were made over the past few days, and it has been learned that an important American figure told Taiwanese politicians that a group of U.S. politicians and scholars who are generally pro-DPP are feeling disappointed.

They think the DPP, instead of making serious preparations for winning power again, is trying to force President Ma Ying-jeou to step down by utilizing the current dispute, and it is doing it in a way that is undemocratic.

According to American sources, many Taiwan watchers in the United States have felt that the DPP candidate stands a good chance of winning the 2016 presidential election but their attitudes have recently become more reserved. They are concerned that the DPP has not formulated a stable cross-Taiwan Strait policy and are baffled over the change in the opposition party's posture.

To drum up international support, the DPP invited foreign diplomats stationed in Taipei to a briefing Thursday on the DPP's position and offered clarification on its connections with the protest movement.

Joseph Wu, the DPP's representative to the United States and policy research and coordination chief, denied the suggestion that the United States is unhappy with his party, saying any such talk is the work of spin doctors working for President Ma Ying-jeou.

But the attitude of the United States has become more evident through the comments made first by scholars and then administration officials. They have all endorsed the development of Taiwan's relations with China under Ma because a stable cross-strait relationship is in the interest of the United States.

Those commenting on events in Taipei include China experts Alan Romberg, David Brown, and Richard Bush, U.S.-Taiwan Business Council President Rupert Hammond Chambers and Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Russel.

Some of them questioned the thinking behind the DPP's support for the student-led movement and most of them hinted at the lack of civility in the way the protesters' views have been expressed.

Words from the United States carry a lot weight. The DPP failed to win the 2012 presidential election mainly because the United States subtly expressed its support for Ma's re-election out of concern for renewed turbulence in Taiwan's relations with China.

This is relevant because the dispute over Taiwan independence versus unification lurked behind the protest over the trade-in-services agreement from the very beginning. As time goes on, the true nature of the bipolar dispute has become clear.

(By Jay Chen)
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Related stories:
●April 4: No U.S. pressure on DPP over student-led protest: party official
●April 4: U.S. calls on Taiwan protesters to act 'responsibly'
●April 3: U.S. urged to help calm Taiwan's political storm

(Click here for the latest on the ongoing protest and developments since the Legislature occupation starting March 18.)