The country has a total of 175 political parties, 55 of which have party names that include “China” (中國), or “Chinese” (中華), according to statistics recently released by the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
There are also 30 parties whose name includes “Taiwan” (台灣), the tally showed.
The Civil Organizations Act (人民團體法) stipulates that in order to register as a political party, a group has to hold a convention to announce the establishment of a political party, and within 30 days of the convention, provide the ministry with a copy of its party constitution and membership list.
The ministry said the five oldest parties in Taiwan use “China,” or “Chinese” in their name: the Chinese Chung-ho Party (中國中和黨), the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT, 國民黨), the Chinese Youth Party (中國青年黨), the Youth China Party (青年中國黨) and the Chinese Chung-ching Party (中國中青黨).
The first political party to included the word “Taiwan” in its title was the Taiwan Aborigine Party (台灣原住民黨), established in March 1980.
As the sense of Taiwanese identity rose during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration, a growing number of political parties were established at the time whose titles contained Taiwan, the ministry said.
The ministry added that a number of political parties have similar titles.
The KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, 民進黨) are the two major political parties, but there is also the Taiwan Nationalist Party (台灣國民黨) and Chinese Democratic Progressive Party (中國民主進步黨). There is also the Chinese Women’s Party (中國婦女黨) and Chung-hua Woman Party (中華婦女黨), as well as the Taiwan Party (台灣黨) and New Taiwan Party (新台灣黨).
Some parties emphasize traditional values with names such as the Dignity Party (尊嚴黨), Helping the Weak and Aiding the Needy Alliance (濟弱扶傾聯盟), Filial Piety Party (孝道黨), Dadao Compassion Jishih Party (大道慈悲濟世黨), the Whole World is One Community Party (天下為公黨) and the Chinese People Wealth Party (中國民富黨).
After the Council of Grand Justices ruled in June 2008 that the law banning the word “communist” in a political party’s name was in violation of the people’s freedom of assembly and freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution, the ministry started accepting the registration of parties with “communist” in their titles.
The result was parties such as the Taiwanese Communist Party (台灣共產黨), the Republic of China Communist Party (中華民國共產黨), the China Communist Alliance (中國共產聯盟) and the Taiwan Democratic Communist Party (台灣民主共產黨).