Thu, Jan 13, 2000 - Page 1 News List

DPP claims KMT took US aid for itself during 1970s

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Opposition legislators brandish a collection of 126 lawmakers' signatures outside the KMT's central headquarters in Taipei yesterday. The group demanded the party release detailed accounts of its assets.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

DPP lawmakers yesterday accused the KMT of stealing more than US$100 million in US economic aid in the 1970s and channeling the money to its party-owned business empire.

As part of the DPP's continuing campaign to shed light on KMT assets which the opposition party alleges were obtained illegally, DPP lawmaker Cheng Pao-chin (鄭寶清), who leads a task force called the KMT Assets Reclaiming Agency, made public a finance ministry document from 1976 to support his accusation that the KMT had misappropriated aid money.

"The Bankers Trust International Limited based in the US loaned Taiwan's government US$100 million at a low interest rate -- 1.75 percent -- to be used in assisting state-run businesses," Cheng said.

"But the KMT took that money and invested it in party-run businesses, including the China Development Corp [now China Development Bank, CDB], the Broadcasting Cooperation of China [BCC], and China Airlines [CAL]," he said.

According to other documents that Cheng revealed yesterday, the KMT took US$86.1 million from the 1976 aid package -- which included the low-interest loan -- and invested it in CAL.

Some of the documents were signed off by former Minister of Finance Fei Hua (費驊) on July 31, 1976. Others were signed by former Premier Sun Yun-suan (孫運璿) and Yu Kuo-hua (俞國華), former convener of a finance and economy task force under the Executive Yuan.

Cheng appealed to the government to take back ownership of CAL and list it as a state-run business.

DPP lawmaker Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) said BCC lifted US$2.6 million from US aid, while another US$39.2 million was put into China Development Corp's account.

"We can see from those documents that China Development Corp had already taken about US$20 million as of Dec. 31, 1976. We want to ask whether the KMT has returned that money, and why the government has to borrow money to help the KMT's party-run businesses," Yeh said.

Meanwhile, 126 lawmakers, including 34 KMT legislators, 68 from the DPP, 10 from the New Party, and 13 independents, signed a petition demanding that the KMT make public its assets before the March presidential election.

DPP lawmaker Trong Chai (蔡同榮) went to KMT headquarters yesterday to deliver the petition and claimed that it represented a "unanimous" call for the KMT to make public its assets before they are entrusted.

"Especially those assets taken from the Japanese government after Japan ended its rule over Taiwan should be returned to the people," Chai said.

KMT lawmaker and party official Chen Hung-chi (陳鴻基) met with Chai to receive the petition and said the party would try to comply with the demand.

"We certainly plan to make public our assets. And we will accomplish it as soon as possible because we do underestimate people's expectations," Chen said.

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