The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party yesterday defended his proposal to include the goal of Taiwan’s independence in the so-called “normal nation” resolution that the DPP would adopt. The DPP chief, Yu Shyi-kun, maintained that the proposal reflected the voice of the grassroots supporters, warning his critics not to distort it as solely his own opinion. He said the proposal would be “jointly” launched by representatives to the upcoming DPP congress. The DPP’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) has drafted a resolution outlining the obstacles to Taiwan’s becoming a “normal nation.” The resolution is to be submitted to the party congress slated for Sept. 30. But Yu has recently proposed a revision to the draft stating that the nation should seek to make a new constitution for a country named “Taiwan,” clearly declaring Taiwan as a sovereign nation. Yu’s move has drawn criticism from fellow DPP leaders, reportedly including Vice Premier Chiou I-jen, who has questioned the timing of the proposal. Lee Chun-yi, a member of the CEC, remarked that Yu was “schizophrenic” by raising the issue. He said if Yu was unhappy with the original draft for the resolution, he should propose a recall of the draft rather than trying to launch a separate proposal seeking to revise the original at the congress.

Lee said Yu’s move is threatening to undermine the CEC’s authority to represent the entire party.

He faulted Yu for wasting all his efforts to champion the change of the nation’s name, while ignoring the more pressing matter of the DPP’s cooperation with the Taiwan Solidarity Union in next January’s legislative elections. Another CEC member Chiu Yi-ying also questioned why a revision is needed to a draft that has already been passed by the committee. She also criticized Yu for ignoring the upcoming legislative elections. During the DPP’s presidential primary earlier this year, Yu ran on a hard-line pro-independence platform. Despite losing the race, Yu has since stuck to the platform. He said yesterday that the DPP-organized rally in Kaoshiung last Saturday already demonstrated the massive support for the nation’s name change. He said “no one will be able to stop” his proposal at the congress. Yu claimed that over 300,000 supporters took part in the Kaohsiung rally, organized in support of a referendum on the country’s bid to use the name “Taiwan” to join the United Nations. But police said only about 30,000 people attended the rally.