Mon, Mar 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Pro-unification party established by composer

By Chen Yu-fu and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Composer Chang Mu-ting poses for photographers after the launch of the People Rich Party in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Pianist and composer Chang Mu-ting (張穆庭) yesterday announced the founding of the People Rich Party (民生黨) with a pro-unification platform and himself as chairman.

The party is named after “people’s livelihood” (民生, minsheng) — one of Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) “three principles of the people” enshrined in the Republic of China’s (ROC) Constitution — to emphasize its concern with economic issues, Chang said.

The party aims to “effectively revive the Taiwanese economy, address the public’s economic concerns, insist on the 1992 consensus’ and implement the goal of national unification under the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the ROC,” Chang said, citing the party’s charter.

The party’s main agenda includes calling for a presidential pardon for Justin Lin (林毅夫) — who defected to China in 1979 when he was an army captain serving on Kinmen and later became a World Bank vice president, an immediate suspension of civil service pension reforms, ending cross-strait tensions and unification with China, Chang said.

He said the party aims to recruit 7,000 young people to participate in the next borough and village-level elections.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been ineffectual in boosting the economy for small and medium-sized businesses and raising workers’ wages and it has “manipulated agendas to further Taiwanese independence,” Chang said.

He criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for spending all of its energy on internal political struggles while neglecting the nation’s young people.

Issuing a presidential pardon for Lin might help resolve cross-strait tensions, while a delay would exacerbate the situation, Chang said.

He said the People Rich Party would propose beginning the process of unification with China, and that “China” should become the name of the unified country.

The party’s economic policies include the creation of a ministry of tourism, boosting tourism according to the models of Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, subordinating the government’s “new southbound policy” to Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, abolishing the recent work-hour amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) and raising the minimum wage to NT$30,000 by 2024, Chang said.

Chang further called for deregulating Chinese capital investments in Taiwan, subsidies for start-ups by young people, a reversal of civil servant pension reforms, reducing the size of the civil service, legalizing gambling and support for the death penalty.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) said in 2006 that he had made up in 2000 — refers to a supposed understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Chang is best known as the composer of 1937, a song composed as a memorial to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.

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