Two of Taiwanese politics' most bitter rivals, the opposition People First Party and the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, might form a coalition despite their sharply differing ideologies. Liu Wen-hsiung, the PFP's caucus head in the legislature, said yesterday said the two parties could discuss a coalition if the DPP abandoned its pro-independence platform. 'There will be ample room for negotiation if the DPP declares its support for the Republic of China and abandons its plan to push for Taiwan independence,' he said. Mr Liu's comment was the first from the PFP since the DPP proposed a loose coalition after failing to win a majority in the legislature in last month's election. Taiwanese media had reported that since the middle of last month, the DPP government, headed by President Chen Shui-bian, had offered to co-operate with the PFP in a bid to break its alliance with the Kuomintang. The PFP and KMT combined to secure a slim majority in the legislature. Other tactical manoeuvres, such as appointing PFP chairman James Soong Chu-yu as vice-premier or head of the semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation, have been regular media fodder, without confirmation from the government. Yesterday, local media reported that President Chen planned to make Mr Soong the head of a cross-strait peace development committee to be formed soon by the Presidential Office to push for cross-strait reconciliation. Mr Liu said the PFP was 'not afraid to talk with the DPP' if the ruling party was willing to give up its pro-independence platform. He said yesterday Mr Soong was interested in missions such as improving cross-strait relations, suggesting he might be willing to accept the committee post. Joseph Wu Jau-shieh, DPP member and Mainland Affairs Council chairman, said the DPP's pro-independence platform was never a problem because it had adopted a resolution in 1999 superseding it that acknowledges Taiwan was already a sovereign nation.