Sun, Nov 25, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Premier hails Fu Cheng's lifework

'RIGHT PATH' Fu, long a member of the KMT, came to Taiwan and saw that the future did not lie with the Chiangs, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung said

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) yesterday lauded life-long political activist Fu Cheng (傅正) as one of the key figures in making the nation's democracy possible, adding that people should cherish democracy to show respect for those who have sacrificed their lives for it.

Chang made the remarks during the release of a new biography of Fu.

Fu and Chang both belonged to the "Committee of Ten," the 10 founders of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), including Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊), DPP presidential hopeful Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and former DPP chairman Yu Shy-kun.

Fu, born in 1927 in Jiangsu Province, was a stalwart Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member who in 1940s China worked as an instructor for KMT political officers. He was a close associate and a trusted comrade of Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), the son of dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), who ruled Taiwan for 27 years with an iron fist.

Leaving his wife and twin daughters behind, Fu fled to Taiwan in 1950 after the Chinese Communist Party successfully took over China and defeated the KMT army. He was 24.

"Teacher Fu," Chang said, was a strong believer in democracy. His dedication in making Taiwan a fully democratic country transcended party line, ethnicity and even nationality.

Fu's biographer, Su Jui-chiang (蘇銳鏘), said that two years after he arrived Taiwan, Fu quickly became disenchanted with the Chiangs -- especially Ching-kuo -- after he realized that the government was corrupt, oppressive and did not intend to implement democracy, as it had promised it would.

Fu expressed his discontent with the government in the Free China publication, a bi-weekly where he later became an editor.

At 34, he was thrown in jail for three years for being one of the founding members of the China Democracy Party advocating constitutional reform. Upon his release, he was immediately reincarcerated for another three years.

Chang said he has always been moved by Fu's dedication to Taiwan's democracy, adding that Fu could have easily lived a posh life had he chosen to follow the Chiangs.

"But instead, he [Fu] chose the right path," the premier said.

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