Former student movement leader appointed DPP deputy secretary-general

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TAIPEI (CNA) — Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), one of the leaders of the anti-China Sunflower Student Movement in 2014, said on July 15 that one of his top priorities as deputy secretary-general of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to prevent pro-Beijing forces from taking power in 2020.

At his appointment ceremony, Lin, 31, thanked DPP Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) and Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉), saying he had no reason to decline the offer.

He also expressed gratitude to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) for their support, noting that he has exchanged views with them on the current political situation and shares their worries about China’s increased aggression and the challenges of social and economic transformation facing Taiwan.

In 2020, China is expected to make unprecedented united front efforts to infiltrate Taiwan and create division in society in an attempt to place the country under its “one China” framework, Lin said.

Internally, Taiwan faces demands for the transformation of society and its economy which involves dealing with contradictions and conflicts between different generations and social classes, he said.

The focus of his work going forward will be safeguarding the DPP’s political power and preventing pro-Beijing forces from taking power, while preparing to hold talks to meet the need for social transformation, he said, adding that the DPP headquarters will set up a task force to conduct policy dialogue.

Asked about the high monthly salary of NT$90,000 (US$2,899) for the post, Lin said since he began discussing the job with Cho and Luo about six months ago, there had been no mention of salary, adding: “If (I) want to make money, I have no need to come here and no need to do a political job,” he said.

Turning to ties between the DPP and the NPP, Lin said the key point should be promoting more cooperation through dialogue, including marriage equality bills.

In addition to Lin, the DPP announced Monday that Lu Chia-hua (呂家華), 37, another Sunflower Movement student leader, has joined the DPP, in an apparent move to target young voters for the 2020 presidential and legislative election campaign.

According to Luo, Lin will be responsible for information and public relations, policy, youth and China affairs, while Lu will head a task force set to be formed on Aug. 1 that will hold policy meetings.

The recruitment of Lin and Lu is part of the DPP’s strategy to target independent voters and young people, to whom pro-China Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who will represent the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in the 2020 presidential election, is less attractive, according to a source close to the camp of President Tsai.

By Yeh Su-ping and Evelyn Kao