Su Tseng-chang, pictured, finally invited his old rival Frank Hsieh to serve on the DPP's China Affairs Committee, but Hsieh declined. (File photo/Wu Chiang-chuan)
Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party is deeply split as to how it should proceed with regard to China policy, with two of the party's leading heavyweights declining an invitation from DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang to take up a place on its recently revived China Affairs Committee, of which Su has named himself convener.
Former premier Frank Hsieh is firmly in favor of the party's increased engagement with Beijing and had hoped to head the committee himself, while Yu Shyi-kun, also a former premier, is seen as a staunchly pro-independence figure who was against the revival of the committee in the first place.
"It is obvious that Su was trying to manage DPP's personnel affairs instead of cross-strait relations," said Lin Cho-shui, a former DPP legislator.
Lin also said that Su's plan for the committee to meet for two hours every two months is not good enough. He also suggested that Su should invite more party heavyweights or standing committee members to join the China committee in order to give it a greater measure of authority.
"The committee is supposed to come up with long-term policy-related issues instead of emergency resolutions," Lin said.
Former vice president Annette Lu said that Su has "lost a game although he had lots of good players." Though she declined to elaborate further, the suggestion is that Su is failing to take advantage of the breadth of executive experience within the party while also pushing the vital but sensitive matter of the party's engagement with Beijing to the sidelines.
Former DPP legislator Kuo Cheng-liang said that Hsieh and Yu represent almost half of the party's supporters and their absence massively undermines the credibility of the committee in speaking for the DPP.
Frank Hsieh 謝長廷
Yu Shyi-kun 游錫琨
Su Tseng-chang 蘇貞昌
Lin Cho-shui 林濁水
Annette Lu 呂秀蓮
Kuo Cheng-liang 郭正亮