Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu
The newly appointed acting chairperson of Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, Kaohsiung mayor Chen Chu has said Friday that the party would step up interactions with the mainland once she takes over the leadership position next week.
Speaking to reporters on her return home after she was denied entry to Cuba on Wednesday, Chen said that Chinese authorities have had a narrow understanding of Taiwan because they had focused all of their cross-strait interactions on the Kuomintang.
“We hope this situation will change in the future through our increased interaction and engagement with China,” Chen said, adding that the DPP would reach out to various Chinese social sectors to build mutual understanding.
Chen’s remarks come on the heels of an intense period of soul searching within the DPP.
The party’s central standing committee had admitted that its China policy played a major role in the defeat of its presidential candidate Dr Tsai Ing-wen.
“The biggest lesson we have learned from our setback,” said Tsai, “is that we must formulate a new approach and policy towards China.”
“We can’t just sit at home,” she averred. “We must find ways to understand China better.”
Chen will take over from Tsai on February 29 as acting party chairperson. The party will elect its new chairperson in three months.