Wed, Sep 24, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Former military honchos join `Friends of the PFP'

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The People First Party (PFP) showcased its support from retired generals as PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) yesterday announced the addition of former air force commander in chief Huang Hsien-jung (黃顯榮) to the "Friends of the PFP" (親民之友).

The PFP considers anyone who shows support for and identifies with the party's ideals to be a "Friend of the PFP."

With Huang joining the group in addition to former army commander in chief Huang Hsing-chang (黃幸強) and former navy commander in chief Nelson Ku (顧崇廉), Soong boasted about his lineup of military experts "who would help provide valuable and substantial advice for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-PFP alliance's white papers on defense."

Ku is now a PFP lawmaker.

Both parties in February decided to form a political alliance and field a joint ticket featuring Soong as the running mate of KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰).

The alliance's white paper on defense is set to be released next month.

"We are delighted to have Huang join us in the `Friends of the PFP,'" Soong said at a press conference at party headquarters yesterday.

Huang Hsien-jung, Huang Hsing-chang and Ku were all present at the press conference.

"What we show here to the public is the PFP's work in recruiting specialists to help give advice, comments and suggestions and to actually tackle the nation's issues," Soong said.

"With the knowledge and experience these [retired generals] possess, we assure the public that the alliance's white paper on defense is not just `fighting only on paper' (紙上談兵)," Soong said, referring to the Chinese idiom meaning to be an armchair strategist.

Huang, 68, was air force commander in chief from 1995 to 1998. He was Taipei's representative to Thailand from 1998 to last year.

Saying that both the KMT's and the PFP's ideals are in line with public expectations, Huang, a KMT member, said he joined the "Friends of the PFP" out of his desire to contribute his expertise for the good of a stronger country.

When asked whether Huang will register to become a PFP member, PFP spokesman Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交) said it "is only a matter of time."

Aside from these three high-profile former commanders in chief, Hwang said there are several former military officers who are either PFP members or who have joined the "Friends of the PFP."

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