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New pro-Taiwan independence party holds inaugural meeting

The 'Taiwan Action Party Alliance' elected Yang Qiwen as its first party chair on Sunday

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Founding members of the 'One Side One Country Action Party'

Founding members of the 'One Side One Country Action Party' (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Taiwan’s newest political party the "Taiwan Action Party Alliance" (一邊一國行動黨), or "TAPA," held its founding conference on Sunday (Aug. 18) and elected its first chairperson to lead the new pro-independence party.

The new party selected Yang Qiwen (楊其文) as its party chair. Yang is a professor of art and architecture and served as Dean of Taipei National University of the Arts (國立臺北藝術大學) from 2013 to 2017. According to a report from UDN, the party is hopeful that it will secure 5 percent of the seats in Legislative Yuan elections in January.

New pro-Taiwan independence party holds inaugural meeting
Yang Qi-wen (Photo from TNUA)

Former Vice-President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) attended the meaning to show her support for the pro-independence movement. She also expressed her regret that former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was unable to attend the party’s inaugural meeting. Chen, who is the most high-profile member of TAPA, was unable to attend the gathering, and is unable to be considered for any leadership position, because it would violate the legal terms of his release from jail on corruption charges.

However, Chen did address the gathering through video conferencing. At Sunday’s conference, Lu and others expressed their hope that Chen would still prove to be a strong force to help organize the party and grow its support, reports ET Today. Lu, who is not officially a member of the new party, said the movement will be most effective if it can form an alliance with several other recently formed pro-independence groups, such as the Formosa Alliance.