Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) The Taiwan Action Party Alliance (TAPA) was launched Sunday in Taipei, with the main goal of making Taiwan a normal, independent country, its leaders said.
As part of that goal, the party said, it will change the country's official name from the Republic of China to the Republic of Taiwan, if it gains power.
"Our mission is to encourage everyone to be proud Taiwanese, get rid of China's threats, and accomplish the goal of one country on each side (of the Taiwan Strait)," TAPA said in its declaration at the launch.
The party's leader Yang Chyi-wen (楊其文), former president of Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA), said at the ceremony that TAPA aims to transform Taiwan into a "normal and independent" country.
"Taiwan and China are independent sovereign countries across the Taiwan Strait," was the slogan at the ceremony, which was attended by former Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former Premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃), both of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The TAPA declaration said the DPP has deserted its ideology and lost its democratic foundations as it is now being controlled by one person, but it did not name the individual.
When asked by reporters' whether the party will support Tsai, Yang said that in the January 2020 presidential election TAPA will not field a candidate but will support the contender who backs the ideology of "one country on each side."
Initiated by about 150 people, the new party identifies closely with former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), who is serving time for corruption while in office. Chen, described by Yang as TAPA's "spiritual leader," was unable to attend the launch of the party because Taichung Prison did not grant permission for him to do so.
However, Chen recorded a video address for the launch, in which he urged supporters to back TAPA's legislative candidates in the January 2020 elections so the party could gain at least three seats, the minimum number of legislators to form a party caucus.