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DPP Party Convention

DPP Resolution on Taiwan's Future

Kaohsiung, 8 May 1999

During its Party Congress, held on May 7-8, 1999 in the southern port-city of Kaohsiung, Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party passed the following "Resolution on Taiwan's Future".

It also passed a set of nomination provisions for the March 2000 Presidential Race.

The resolution outlines the party's vision forTaiwan's status and future goals. The text of the resolution is as follows:

I. Preface

Through years of hardship and struggle, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the people of Taiwan have compelled the Kuomintang (KMT) to accept democratic reforms by lifting Martial Law and terminating one-party authoritarian rule. Following the 1992 general elections of the national legislature, the 1996 direct presidential elections, and constitutional reform to abolish the provincial government, Taiwan has become a democratic and independent country.

In order to face the new environment and to create a vision for the future based on past accomplishments, the DPP continues to push for structural reforms in the state institutions while taking further steps to define Taiwan's status and the direction in which the nation is headed. This proclamation unequivocally clarifies the outlook of the DPP regarding Taiwan's future at this juncture in time. Our past experiences and achievements can be used as a foundation to face the challenges of the next century.

II. Proclamation

  1. Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. Any change in the independent status quo must be decided by all the residence of Taiwan by means of plebiscite.
  2. Taiwan is not a part of the People's Republic of China. China's unilateral advocacy of the "One China Principle" and "One Country Two Systems" is fundamentally inappropriate for Taiwan.
  3. Taiwan should expand its role in the international community, seek international recognition, and pursue the goal of entry into the United Nations and other international organizations.
  4. Taiwan should renounce the "One China" position to avoid international confusion and to prevent the position's use by China as a pretext for annexation by force.
  5. Taiwan should promptly complete the task of incorporating plebiscite into law in order to realize the people's rights. In time of need, it can be relied on to establish consensus of purpose, and allow the people to express their will.
  6. Taiwan's government and opposition forces must establish bi-partisan consensus on foreign policy, integrating limited resources, to face China's aggression and ambition.
  7. Taiwan and China should engage in comprehensive dialogue to seek mutual understanding and economic cooperation. Both sides should build a framework for long-term stability and peace.

III. Explanation

Independent and autonomous sovereignty is the prerequisite for national security, social development and the people's welfare. Taiwan is a sovereign independent country, not subject to the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China. This is both a historical fact and a reflection of the status quo. It is not only a condition indispensable to Taiwan's existence, but also a crucial element to the development of democratic political practices and the creation of economic miracles.

When the end of the Cold War in 1991 marked a decisive victory for freedom, democracy, and self-determination, the DPP revised its party platform. The DPP advocated Taiwan's sovereign independence and proposed three areas of reform: Re-definition of national jurisdiction, structural revisions of the constitution, and the development of a new national identity. These positions were denigrated as heresy at the time, but in less than ten years, the notion of independent sovereignty has become the prevailing social consensus. Their ramifications have swiftly become the embodiment of Taiwan's constitutional and legal structure.

Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country. In accordance with international laws, Taiwan's jurisdiction covers Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, its affiliated islands and territorial waters. Taiwan, although named the Republic of China under its current constitution, is not subject to the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China. Any change in the independent status quo must be decided by all residents of Taiwan by means of plebiscite.

Under the current social consensus, externally, Taiwan no longer insists on using the "Republic of China" as the sole national name to participate in various governmental and non-governmental international organizations. Domestically, after breaking the KMT's mythical claim of being the "sole legitimate government in all of China", we pushed for constitutional and political reforms which resulted in democratic national legislature elections, direct presidential elections, and the freezing of the provincial government.

In developing a new national identity, we promoted the Taiwanization of public education to rebuild awareness of Taiwanese history and culture. The enactment of the "Law on Territorial Waters" in early 1999 clearly defined the jurisdiction of national territory, and the government announced lifting the restriction on using the title "Taiwan" in national organizations. The principle of Taiwan's sovereign independence has comprehensively demonstrated its superiority and legitimacy in application. The forward-looking nature of the 1991 platform revision has been validated.

Today, in 1999, internal systemic reform is yet to be accomplished. Yet the confrontation and division between the ruling and opposition parties on the issue of national identity have been softened, opening up a new opportunity for bi-partisan foreign policy. In facing the pressure from China, the divisions in values over national identity have given way to policy-level disagreements on how to ensure Taiwan's national security and independent sovereignty.

The DPP considers the following international elements favorable to the maintenance of Taiwan's independent sovereignty and international status: The end of the Cold War, victory of liberal and democratic ideas, Taiwan's democratization, and rising public opinion opposing reunification. However, the China's growing might and consistently stubborn hegemonic thinking presents the greatest obstacle to Taiwan's future. Given the unpredictability of international politics and the complicated web of interests, the DPP believes that Taiwan must take a safe, cautious, gradual and well-examined approach to China.

It is the DPP's conviction that the cross-Strait relationship cannot stay outside of the global trend toward reconciliation, stability and prosperity. Furthermore, it is impossible for two countries sharing geographic proximity, economic benefits and cultural origins to remain in a state of hostility and mutual isolation. The ultimate goal of the DPP's China policy is to establish a cross-Strait relationship that is mutually beneficial rather than discriminatory, peaceful rather than confrontational, and equal rather than subordinate to each other.

The DPP asks the Chinese government to respect the will of the Taiwanese people and to accept the fact of Taiwan's independent sovereignty. Furthermore, we hope that China can abandon the outdated framework of nationalism and respect Taiwanese people's pursuit of independence, autonomy, and prosperous development under a free and democratic system.

The DPP also hopes that in the coming century, China and Taiwan can abandon mutual suspicion and antagonism. Based on historical and cultural origins, and for the sake of geopolitical, regional stability and economic interests, both sides should work together toward a future of co-existence, co-prosperity, mutual trust and mutual benefits.

DPP Congress Passes Nomination Provision for the Year 2000

To prepare the party for the presidential elections in the year 2000, the Party Congress passed a special nomination provision for its presidential and vice presidential candidate. The main provisions are as follows:

1. The existing Nomination Rules of DPP's Candidate for Public Offices will not apply to DPP's candidate for president and vice president in the year of 2000. The latter will be regulated by this temporary and exclusive provision.

2. A candidate must receive sponsorship from at least 40 party officials from the following categories: Incumbent and former chairmen, members of the DPP Central Executive committee and Central Advisory Committee, DPP legislators, DPP National Assembly delegates and DPP heads of local governments.

3. The DPP headquarter should seek the consent of the recommended candidate within 7 days after being presented with a sponsored recommendation.

4. If only one candidate is recommended, he or she must be approved by at least 3/5 of party delegates (with at least 1/2 presence in party congress). If there is more than one candidate recommended by party officials, it would go to a party primary which involves direct vote by party members.

5. If there is no valid recommendation, a candidate will be enlisted by the party congress. The enlisted candidate must be approved by at least 3/5 of party delegates (with at least 1/2 presence in party congress).

**The existing rules require candidates to register their intention to vie for nomination. The temporary rules replace it with a recommendation system (and an enlisting system when necessary)