New Nation Alliance set up in Taiwan

Taipei, 18 September 1998

On 18 September 1998, a new political alliance was set up in Taiwan by a group of pro-Taiwan independence politicians. The group was named New Nation Alliance and is dedicated to promote political, social and cultural reforms. The alliance issued a manifesto explaining its main purpose -- promoting the establishment of a "new nation, new society and new culture."

Six of the politicians are currently independent members of the Legislative Yuan. They left the DPP two years ago due to the wishy-washy policies of former chairman Hsu hsin-liang.

The manifesto said all of its members share the same political concepts and ideals. "We are willing to serve as woodpeckers and antiseptics in a new era and to dedicate ourselves to pushing for the birth of a new, free and democratic Taiwan Republic," it stressed.

The Alliance will field 15 candidates for the upcoming December 5th elections for the Legislative Yuan and Taipei and Kaohsiung city councils. Under current regulations, it will be given two at-large seats in the legislature if its legislative candidates receive at least five percent of the vote.

Addressing the ceremony, Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung of the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the formation of the new alliance indicates that Taiwan has become a mature pluralistic society. "I think there will be ample room for the DPP and the New Nation Alliance to cooperate in pursuing the creation of a new nation," Lin noted.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, Premier Vincent Siew said the formation of the Alliance signifies the value of democracy and will make the Legislative Yuan's political spectrum even more diversified. "Even though my political concepts differ from those of the Alliance, I believe that we are both pursuing the country's well-being," the premier said.

A leading member of the Alliance is Legislator Chen Yung-hsing, from Hualien County, who played an important role in the late 1980s in calling for a new interest in, and commemoration of, the February 28th Incident of 1947. Up until that time, it had been a taboo to speak and write about this Taiwanese equivalent of the Holocaust.

Chen Yung-hsing said the year-end elections will offer a new opportunity for the adjustment of Taiwan's political map. "In order to ensure the survival of those with clean images and lofty political ideals in the legislature and the city councils of Taipei and Kaohsiung, we have decided to form this new alliance to promote our cause," he noted.

Chen said the alliance will maintain cooperative ties with the pro-independence DPP and the Taiwan Independence Party. "We'll cooperate closely in the year-end elections in the hope that the opposition camp will be able to control more than half the seats in the legislature."

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