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Pan-Blue Coalition

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The pan-blue coalition, or pan-blue force (泛藍軍 pinyin fan4 lan2 jun1), is a political coalition in early 21st century Taiwan, consisting of the Kuomintang (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) and the People First Party (PFP). The name comes from the party colors of the Kuomintang. This coalition tends to favor a Chinese nationalist identity over a Taiwanese separatist one and favors a softer policy and greater economic linkage with the People's Republic of China. It is opposed to the pan-green coalition.

Although the pan-blue coaliation is associated with Chinese reunification, much of the support and opposition to the pan-blue coaliation has nothing to do relations with Mainland China. For example, support for the pan-blue coaliation among the poor and Taiwanese aboriginals is high because of the patronage networks that the coaliation mantains.

Throughout the 1990s, the Kuomintang consisted of an uneasy relationship between those which supported a Chinese nationalist identity for Taiwan and those, led by President Lee Teng-hui, who supported a stronger Taiwanese separatist identity. During the 2000 Presidential election, Lee Teng-hui arranged for Lien Chan to be nominated as Kuomintang candidate for President rather than the more popular James Soong, who bolted from the party and formed his own People First Party. Many in Taiwan believed that this action was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the Kuomintang to ensure victory for Chen Shui-bian of the DPP.

In the 2000 Presidential election itself, the split in Kuomintang votes between Soong and Lien led in part to the election of Chen Shui-bian. After the election, there was widespread anger within the Kuomintang against Lee Teng-hui, who was expelled and formed his own pro-Taiwan independence party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union. After Lee's expulsion, the Kuomintang moved its policies more in favor of Chinese reunification and began informal but close cooperation with the People First Party and the New Party. This coalition became informally known as the pan-blue coalition. Although the members of the pan-blue coalition maintain separate party structures, they closely cooperate in large part to ensure that electoral strategies are coordinated, so that votes are not split among them leading to a victory by the pan-green coalition.

In February 2003, the KMT and PFP agreed to cooperated in the 2004 Presidental elections with Lien Chan being the presidental candidate and James Soong being the vice presidental candidate.



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