Although the Pan-Blue Coalition is associated with Chinese reunification, much of the support and opposition to the coalition has nothing to do relations with Mainland China. For example, support for the coalition among the poor and Taiwanese aboriginals is high because of the patronage networks that the coalition maintains.
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. This led to a split in the early 1990s, when the New Party was formed. 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 Lee's 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 Presidential elections with Lien Chan being the presidential candidate and James Soong being the vice presidential candidate. The campaign emblem for the Lien-Soong campaign is a two seat bicycle with a blue figure in the first seat and an orange figure in the second.
See also: Politics of Taiwan