Episode Description

Some members of the Democratic Progressive Party are making a push to freeze a portion of the party’s charter known as the Taiwan Independence Clause which calls for the establishment of a Republic of Taiwan.

Supporters of the freeze say doing so could help the DPP’s chance to become the ruling party once again. However, the effort has met a strong backlash from members who argue that working toward Taiwan independence is central the the party’s character.

In this episode we examine the controversy surrounding the clause along with the broader effort within the DPP to reformulate its China policy.

Guest: J. Michael Cole. He is the Editor and Chief of Thinking Taiwan, an online source of news and analysis about Taiwan which is part of DPP Chair Tsai Ing-wen’s Thinking Taiwan Foundation.

During this episode we also hear from two DPP members on both sides of the freezing issue: Dr. Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), one of the proponents of freezing the clause, who served as a Mainland Affairs Council vice minister during the Chen administration; and Tainan City Councilor Chen Chao-lai (陳朝來).

How to listen

You can download episodes of this program online at the ICRT website and on the show’s iTunes page. New episodes are added every Wednesday.

You can learn more about Taiwan Talk at the show page here.

You can also find past episodes on this blog here

Recommended reading
  • Here’s an article in The Diplomat by today’s guest that sums up a lot of what he said during the interview.
  • The proposal to freeze the clause caused a stir at the DPP’s national congress, but the party did not reach any conclusions about what to do and DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen suggested that the proposals be taken to the Central Executive Committee for further review.
  • Even before the congress, the controversy had already sparked a protest by those who oppose the freezing at the DPP headquarters.
  • A day before the national party congress Tsai condemned the effort to freeze the clause.
  • After the national party congress, Beijing dismissed the proposal to freeze the clause, and called on the DPP to completely abandon its pro-independence position.
  • Dr. Tung Chen-yuan (featured in this episode) expands on why he supports the freezing of the clause.
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