Mon, Nov 26, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Red party hopes to break out of blue-green scale

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Founded by the leaders of last year's demonstrations against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the Home Party vowed to make Taiwan a nation of freedom and peace at its launching ceremony yesterday.

"Red is the color of blood -- thus it represents life. It's the color of celebration in Taiwan and it's the color that represents wealth," said chairman Chen Yao-chang (陳耀昌), explaining the party's name in Chinese, hong dang (紅黨), or the Red Party.

"We've decided to call the party the `Home Party' in English to show our love for our home, Taiwan," Chen told the audience.

Chen was a member of the anti-Chen movement's decision-making committee.

"Everybody hates politics in Taiwan ... People think of corruption, dirty political battles between the blue and green camps," said Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), another member of the anti-Chen movement and a founding member of the party.

"A year after [the anti-Chen movement], we asked ourselves: Should we just let the blue-green division deepen? Should we just watch as Taiwan falls?" Chang said. "No we can't, we simply cannot allow it."

Chen Yao-chang told the audience that the party will push for greater economic freedom and a better welfare system.

"We will push to cut taxes for everyone, including foreigners, to attract foreign capital," Chen Yao-chang said. "We'll also get rid of unnecessary functions in the government to make it more efficient. With the funds that are saved, we'll build a better welfare system that takes care of all minority groups."

In addition, Chen Yao-chang said the Home Party would seek to get rid of import tariffs.

Chen Yao-chang did not respond when asked what impact unilaterally dropping import tariffs would have on Taiwanese businesses.

The party also presented their candidates for the January legislative elections.

"The Home Party is a party with perspective," said Shih Ming-teh (施明德), former Democratic Progressive Party chairman and leader of the anti-Chen movement.

Shih presented a personal donation of more than NT$5 million (US$154,000) to the party.

Shih said he made the donation with the money he received as compensation for time he served as a political prisoner during the Martial Law era.

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