The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is extending its first olive branch toward China with the reinstatement of its Department of China Affairs, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.
Su also gave people a clearer idea of his initiative, “the Taiwan consensus,” which was used by former chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) as the main theme of her China policy during her presidential campaign.
“We have to improve mutual understanding through dialogue; to ensure democratic development peacefully and to determine Taiwan’s future with democracy. That is what I call the Taiwan Consensus,” Su told a press conference after the party’s Central Executive Committee meeting.
A proposal to reinstate the Department of China Affairs, which was merged with the Department of International Affairs in August 2007, is the DPP’s first olive branch extended to China, Su said.
That would be followed by the establishment of a committee tentatively called the “China Affairs Committee,” which would include party heavyweights and academics and would serve as a platform to formulate the party’s China policy.
A search for a director of the department would begin immediately after the CEC meeting passed the proposal, Su said, adding that the director would then work on establishing the committee.
Regarding the DPP’s China policy, Su reiterated that the party would actively seek closer engagement with Beijing and engage in the process with enthusiasm and confidence.
However, Su said the DPP would stand firmly by its positions, values and viewpoints rather than doing anything to please China.
“The party will stay true to what it believes in, but the mentality, approach and strategy [of its engagement with China] would be adaptable and flexible,” he said.
Asked on whether he expects Beijing to echo the party’s friendly gesture, Su said “interaction and engagement would have to be mutual — as do good intentions and the extending of olive branches.”