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Tsai places constitutional reform high on DPP agenda

  • "Committed to Reform"

    President Tsai Ing-wen stands in front of a sign that says "Committed to Reform" at the Democratic Progressive Party's national congress in Taipei on Sunday. (CNA photo)

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) held a national congress in Taipei on Sunday. President Tsai Ing-wen presided over the congress in her role as the party’s chairperson.


In a speech at the congress, Tsai said that in light of major changes both in Taiwan and abroad, the DPP needs to form a “new discourse,” in order to lead Taiwan in a new direction. Tsai said that the DPP must find a new model for interacting with a rising China. But she said that in doing so, Taiwan must also maintain its sovereignty.


Official interaction between Taiwan and China has largely ceased since Tsai took office in May, 2016. That’s because China has been displeased with her refusal to reiterate her predecessor’s “’92 Consensus” in which the two sides agreed that there was “one China” with each side reserving its own interpretation of what that meant. Former President Ma Ying-jeou and his administration had used that as a basis for cross-strait interaction.


President Tsai also raised the issue of constitutional reform. She said that the people of Taiwan look forward to a more responsible authority and a more efficient governmental system. She said that discussions of constitutional reform would become a priority for her party.


Meanwhile, one the DPP failed to discuss a high-profile motion calling for the pardon of former President Chen Shui-bian. That was after an insufficient number of representatives turned up for the motion. President Tsai said that motion, along with 17 others, would be listed in the meeting records and passed along to the party’s Central Standing Committee for further consideration.