The chairperson of a political party comprised mainly of Chinese spouses living in Taiwan yesterday said it is hoping to gain a voice in the legislature by joining forces with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
“The Chinese Production Party (CPP, 中華生產黨) is targeting the 2016 legislative election, as only by entering the legislature can our members truly fight for equality and reasonable rights for Chinese spouses and other new immigrants,” CPP chairperson Lu Yuexiang (盧月香) said.
Lu said she had approached the KMT’s military veteran branch, also known as the Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) branch, to discuss the possibility of cooperation between the parties.
If the KMT agrees to the CPP’s proposal that the former establish a “New Immigrant Committee” and include the “outstanding representatives” of Chinese spouses living in Taiwan in its list of legislator-at-large nominations for the next legislative election, the CPP will throw its full support behind the KMT in the 2016 presidential and legislative elections, she said.
“The party [CPP] has not ruled out leading all party members to join the KMT,” Lu said, adding that she hoped a consensus could be reached next month.
The number of Chinese spouses has been climbing so fast that they have become an undeniable force in Taiwan, Lu said. Of the 320,000 such spouses currently living in the country, more than 100,000 have obtained Republic of China (ROC) identity cards and thus have the right to vote, she added.
“While the CPP may not yet be strong enough to participate in elections under its own banner, joining forces with the KMT is a feasible alternative,” Lu said.
Lu founded the CPP in February 2010 and applied to the Ministry of the Interior to be formally established as a party in March that year.
Of the party’s more than 32,000 members, the majority are Chinese spouses, but it also includes veterans, retired military officers and foreign spouses from other countries.
Lu moved to Taiwan from China’s Fujian Province after marrying a Taiwanese in 1992.
After obtaining her ROC ID card, Lu joined the KMT and has been awarded a medal for her campaign efforts for party candidates in different elections.
According to reports by the Chinese-language United Daily News, Lu has fought for Chinese spouses’ rights to work, full inheritance rights and labor insurance by staging rallies and demonstrations since she established the Chinese Spouses Promotion Association (中華外籍促進會) in 2000.
Lu considered forming the CPP in 2008 after the association had failed to make substantial progress, the reports said.
However, as most Chinese spouses were daunted by the idea of joining a political party at the time, Lu decided to turn it into something that was almost like a “women’s club” by offering career-training programs, as well as cooking and hairdressing courses at party headquarters, the reports said.
KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) later yesterday said that he was unaware of any ongoing negotiations between the two parties.
Such negotiations would not conform to the party’s norms for handling these matters and the KMT would not negotiate about legislative seats with other parties, Hsiao said.
In an apparent effort to play down the issue, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said that new immigrants were also a part of Taiwanese society whose support the KMT had been endeavoring to attract by holding forums and events.
Additional Reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang