Pro-China political party backs KMT's Han for Taiwan president

CUPP advocates Taiwan’s unification with China

CUPP's chair Chang An-lo (Left) (Source: CNA)

CUPP's chair Chang An-lo (Left) (Source: CNA)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A political party that promotes Taiwan’s unification with China has expressed its support for Kuomintang presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the key election next January.

Notorious gangster-turned-party chair Chang An-lo (張安樂) has said his Chinese Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) will back Han in the presidential bid. He believes Han will bring peaceful cross-strait relations for the next eight years.

The party will seek representation in the legislature but will avoid competing with candidates from the China-friendly KMT, said Chang at an event held in Chiayi County on Saturday (August 10). Chang did not confirm whether he would run in the legislative elections next year.

The pro-Beijing party is controversial due to its record of violence, including attacking National Taiwan University students in 2017 after they lodged protests against a China-sponsored event held on campus. Six CUPP members were convicted of assault and extortion in that incident, including Chang’s son, Chang Wei (張瑋).

Established in 2005, the CUPP promotes Taiwan’s “peaceful unification” with China and the “one country, two systems” formula for the island nation. It reportedly receives funding from the Chinese government, but Chang denies such ties, reported Reuters in June.

The party said it aims to steer votes away from President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who will represent the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the upcoming election. “We will concentrate our firepower to support the KMT,” Reuters quoted one CUPP member as saying.