Democratic Progressive Party established in 1986 is the largest opposition party in Taiwan, from establishing to coming into power total 14 years in growth and transition; held the reins of government in 2000 and lost power by the party alternation in 2008. Under the effect of democratic politics, the party alternation in Taiwan shall be evolved into normality. DDP, as a young political party, has gone through various policy processes and party leaders’ policy decisions, even the party members who served in DDP or public office are elected by a democratic manner that makes DDP become the first political party to carry out the inner-Party democracy, much more the system of the primary election to nominate candidates through party members’ vote and opinion polls.
The young, innovative, and local root is DDP’s characteristic; from local to central organization structure have all middle and lower ranks obtain an equal chance to join the political affairs. DDP defeated the many-year ruling Nationalist Party (or Kuomintang; hereinafter referred to as KMT) during the presidential election held in 2000. It is believed, DDP is a party can change the future of Taiwan, and create a brand-new cross-Straits relations under an equal and reciprocal circumstance. This local party in its early stage was striving for human and suffrage rights, then, from the secondary stage to the third, for social justice, rightfulness, welfare, and equality of educational resources. As to the cross-Straits issue, of course, there is a different from KMT in cognition.
This essay is to explore the evolvement in respect of the policy toward Mainland China occurred in a period from Lee Deng-Hui succeeded to presidential office in 1988 to emergence of the politically new star--- Tsai Ying-Wen. In an era of military confrontation, both sides cut down the communication and had nearly no reciprocation each other, hence, Taiwan did not have the necessity to enact any China policy. Nevertheless, as China continuously tried to conduct the united-front strategy, Taiwan was passively obliged to enact the “China Policy” such as “The Three Principles Reunite China” and “Three Noes Policy” (no contact; no negotiation; no compromise), but it was no more than a slogan. In 1987, Taiwan lifted the ban and allowed residents to visit relatives in China. For cross-Straits unfolded an enthusiastically interflow, Taiwan’s “China Policy” started changing from passive to active. Not but that cross-Straits had a 180-degree transition, both sides’ relationship still lay in the phenomena of “Official Passion & Civil Indifference” because of the influence of ruler’s subjective or objective factor. In particular, the controversial disputes in respect of the “Special state-to-state relations” advocated by Lee Deng-Hue in his late reign period forced China to unilaterally suspend the cross-Straits negotiation. On the one hand, China’s doubt about the “Taiwan Independence” commended by Chen Shui-bian and DDP caused the official contacting channel being cut during Chen’s reigning period, but not the civil interflow, which on the contrary, became more intense and frequent. The civil force urged the ruler to enact the guideline of “China Policy” that became even more important. During Chen’s reigning period, Taiwan in the international was constrained by the US and China, and pinned down by the opposition party; how could the “China Policy” be produced? It is also worthy to make a further exploration if the “Domestic factor” is the key point to affect the said Policy.
DDP was turned into the opposition party through the party alternation in 2008; it could become the ruling party again. Regardless of which parties in power, “China Policy” is an important issue to be actively faced by each party, either ruling party or opposition party. The formation of any argument or policy will be affected by contemporary time, space, environment, and context in a mass, in particular, the “China Policy” that could directly influence the cross-Straits relations. China has always doubt about DDP’s China Policy, but has no choice but to face the possibilities that DDP might regain the power. After all, Taiwan is a democratic country, and the party alternation by democratic election is the normality of an advanced democratic state. Tsai Ying-wen transformed from a scholar to DDY’s chairwoman in the duration of 2008~2012, proposing the “Decade of political program” and “China Policy”, the formation and tendency of which has directly and indirectly affect our national development. Therefore, how to deeply understand the China Policy enacted by DDY after a party alternation, we expect that DDY will be helpful for both sides’ relationship while we seek and explore how to develop a peaceful and stable cross-Straits relations.