Taiwan: President's Aide Takes Helm of Taiwan Ruling Party
The DPP elected Su, viewed as one of the front-runners for the 2008 presidential race, as chairman after President Chen Shui-bian quit the job to take responsibility for the party's disappointing showing in December legislative elections.
Voters had given 51 percent of parliamentary seats to opposition parties that favour closer ties with rival China.
"Looking at the future, the DPP will build the widest avenue to reflect the broad will of the people, allowing more people to support the DPP," Su said in a brief statement to reporters.
Since the legislative defeat, the Chen government has set a conciliatory tone, calling for dialogue with the opposition and with China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan and threatens to attack the democratic island if it declares formal statehood.
While the DPP's charter sets Taiwan independence from China as its final goal, Su is likely to support the government's new conciliatory line as power still resides with Chen, say analysts.
Su has yet to clearly reveal his stance on independence and is generally viewed as a moderate in the party.
Reconciliation with China could be off to a hopeful start with the two arch-foes exchanging non-stop charter flights for the first time in over 5 decades on Saturday.
Beijing is nevertheless deeply distrustful of the independence-leaning Chen and analysts see a quick resumption of stalled talks as unlikely.
The 58-year-old Su came to prominence as magistrate of Taipei county, making him a natural competitor with the main opposition Nationalist Party's most popular politician, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, for the 2008 presidential race.
Some analyst say Chen shunted Su off to the largely powerless post of party chairman because he had become dangerously popular, threating to eclipse the president and render him a lame duck in his second and final term.
Another possible DPP contender for the 2008 race is mewly appointed premier Frank Hsieh, who enjoyed high popularity ratings as mayor of Taiwan's second largest city, Kaohsiung.
Hsieh, who will formally take office on Tuesday, has also called for dialogue with China and opposition parties.