How can somebody join a political party in Taiwan?

To get involved with, or support local politics, how might one join a political party?

In most countries it is as simple as signing up online, but I haven’t been able to find anything like that for either the DPP or the KMT. I’m not interested in signing up myself, but I’m curious how that system works here and what the requirements are.

Don’t you just buy a wifebeater shirt in the correct color and hit the streets?

Sorry, actually I have no idea. But one thing to think about is whether or not participation in a political party is in line with the purpose stated on one’s visa (if one has one). There are plenty of foreigners who might not have to worry about that, but there are also plenty more who are not “supposed” to be engaged in politics. I’m pretty sure actually joining a party within Taiwan would be viewed as political activity.

Somebody should tell J. Michael Cole that

I don’t think you can formally join a political party unless you’re a citizen. Keep in mind that the government takes a very dim view of foreigners participating in political activity. I think it’s actually illegal and a deportable offense, say, to take part in a political demonstration if you’re not a citizen.

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On the KMT’s membership sign up page there is an option under 身分 to select 外籍 “foreign nationality”.

That is illegal.

Yes I would have thought so. Maybe they just deny all applications from people who select 外籍


Yes they could say they are using it to comply with the law, making sure everyone is a citizen who joins.

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Well. You have to upload pics of your ID

I wonder if NWOHRs are allowed to join political parties. I’ll have to check legislation to see if there is any mention of needing to have household registration later.


“Nationals have the freedom to join or withdraw from political parties”

No mention of needing household registration, unless it’s mentioned in some other legislation.

Years ago there were protests about dumping nuclear waste in Taitumg, and I asked the local Foreign Affairs Police if I could take part. They said I could not take part in any political actions as I was a foreigner, but I could take part in an environmental protest as a surrogate for my minor children- whereas foreigners who didn’t have Taiwanese children couldn’t participate.
I have no idea if that was true, as the local office would never admit they didn’t know an answer, or submit questions to Taipei for fear of getting yelled at.

I wonder what benefits there are to joining a party. Voting in a primary doesn’t seem to be one of those anymore.

The KMT site @meishijia referred to above mentions party members getting a discount or preferential treatment at some 500 outlets. But I didn’t find the list of supposed benefits that come from pledging one’s loyalty and paying NT$300 per year.

I guess most people join just to give monetary support

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Since I’m going to get my citizenship soon and the issue will probably come up, and I’m fully aware of how taxes, economics, and overall approach to politics are different (e.g. American “right/conservative” is different from Taiwan), as well as how it’s turning out (e.g. cops hardly do anything in Taiwan but yet has a low crime rate and income tax/NHI isn’t horrendous and decently successfully implemented, no plan is perfect… Versus being taxed damned 1/4 of your income but US inflation is rampant, parts are in shambles, and healthcare is outrageously expensive)…

But which political party is the equivalent of right-leaning libertarian AND supports Taiwanese independence? For context, I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, and my support for him is more situational (as in he just happens to be the front runner, I’m not a fan of Nikki, everybody else dropped out, and I don’t know how much more of a senile puppet I could take) than supportive of his policies (kinda like how some people would root for a Super Bowl team while their true team is different).

KMT is the conservative face of Taiwanese politics, but they want to reunify with China; even my own 外省人 mom doesn’t seem to object to the idea of being under ccp rule when I’ve heard WAY too many horror stories during my tenure as an interpreter for a law office to even want to give the ccp the respect of capital letters (yuck).

DPP does support independence, but after seeing how my home state of CA has been ran into the ground, I am vehemently against the American form of “progressivism” part of the name and again, not sure how comparable the Taiwanese form is, so there’s that.

…Then every other 3rd party seems to be variants of the above, rather than someone who’d truly adapt something different.

This is a common misconception and requires a bit of nuance. They do not support declaring independence because their stance is Taiwan is already independent. Most foreign media outlets do not clarify this and it’s frustrating to see every election time when they say DPP is the pro Independence Party.

Taiwan doesn’t really have much of a left right political spectrum. Both parties are relatively conservative but in some ways progressive as well. I wouldn’t say either are particularly libertarian. The only reason I would see a libertarian not like one party is the KMT because of their closeness to China. But both major parties have had close relationships with the conservative/republican side of the US in various ways although it has shifted as the KMT was formerly very anti China so republicans who were hawkish were close to them.

KMT is just a very strange political party. They were absolutely vital in keeping Taiwan free from CCP and communism and laid the groundwork to democracy while also being an authoritarian nationalist regime controlling the island under martial law. Now they’re more close with china.

Long story short. Taiwans political parties are as strange as its political status as a nation state. Yet somehow it thrives under a new democracy in every way possible.

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That’s because Libertarianism is a US-born ideology and political party that is completely at odds with Taiwanese views on government. The NHI, mass surveillance, public transportation you name it are not compatible with Libertarianism.

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Only about 3 percent of the population of Taiwan is a member of political party here, so the issue may not be as likely to arise as you might imagine. Certainly no one has asked me about party membership since I became a citizen.

Membership figures:
KMT: 370,711
DPP: 238,664

But there are scores of minor parties. Maybe you could find a better fit than the big three if you looked hard enough.

Thanks for the replies above.

Yeah, it was kind of a crap shoot trying to oversimplify the matter; I admittedly suck at simplifying most of my posts as it is, but more than any of the long rambling about other matters aside, just as long as they’re not siding with reuniting with cpp, everything else isn’t as big a deal as the post sounds.

I see what you’re saying, and I also realize that completely abolishing Big Gov anywhere is nearly impossible, but I’m saying so more in the sense of not wanting too much government or even worst case scenario, being reclaimed by the ccp or even God forbid, a California 2.0.

Oh, now THAT I didn’t know; I thought it was like the US where you select your political party while registering to vote (which for that, I know Taiwan does automatically). I guess I can say which one I’m “aligned with” then?


This is a thing?