Trong Chai – A Pioneer In Taiwan’s Democracy Movement And A Founding Father Of FAPA Passes Away
“It’s a sad day for all of us at FAPA and a sad day for Taiwan’s democracy and independence movement,” said FAPA President Dr. Mark Kao today upon the passing of Dr. Trong Chai.
“A great Taiwanese life has come to an end. Trong Chai won Taiwan’s respect with his pioneering initiatives, and the respect of the United States Congress in particular and of the American public in general for his determination and conviction to make Taiwan a better place. That is his greatest legacy.”
Born in 1935, Chai came to the United States to study, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He subsequently became a professor of political science at the City University of New York.
Together with Professor Peng Ming-min and Dr. Mark Chen, Dr. Trong Chai was one of the founding fathers of FAPA and became its first president in 1982.
After returning to Taiwan in 1990, he became a member of the Legislative Yuan for the DPP between 1993 and 2008 representing his hometown of Chiayi.
He founded the Association for a Plebiscite and Formosa TV.
“To many of us at FAPA he was a personal friend and a role model,” Dr. Kao continues. “We campaigned for him during his LY races. We handed out leaflets. And we made phone calls on his behalf.”
“Dr. Chai would visit FAPA HQ every time he was in Washington. We at FAPA fondly remember stories told to us by Congressional aides that Chai would challenge in a push-up contest whenever they would visit Formosa TV in Taipei.”
“Now, his stay on earth has ended, a long and eventful journey that helped shape Taiwan’s democracy,” Dr. Kao concludes.
Former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) reacted as follows:
“As a lifelong friend of the people of Taiwan, a friend of Taiwanese Americans, and a founding member of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, it saddens me deeply to hear about the passing of Dr. Trong Chai today.
Dr. Chai was a patriot and true leader of the people of Taiwan and a familiar face to many of us on Capitol Hill, where he would often meet with Members of Congress to discuss the importance of freedom and democracy in Taiwan.
My thoughts today are with his family and with the many Taiwanese Americans and Taiwanese who, like me, considered him a friend. We will all miss his talent and dedication to fighting for a free and democratic society on behalf of the people of his beloved Taiwan.”