Sun, Mar 17, 2002 - Page 1 News List

Officials pouring money into China is `no surprise'

By Lin Miao-jung  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH STAFF WRITER

A high-ranking official from the National Security Council told the Taipei Times that "It is not surprising" that a number of former government officials are handing inside information over to Beijing.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Chinese government has been trying to collect sensitive information in many different ways. "Taiwan's intelligence apparatus should have been aware of that, and have related information in hand."

He remarked that, as some former officials are not well adjusted to the change of political power two years ago, "it is not surprising for them to do things like that."

The official was commenting on a report by the Liberty Times, the sister newspaper to the Taipei Times, that rumors abound that many government officials and legislators are participating in the rush to invest in China.

Chang Fu-mei (張福美), chairman of the Society for Promoting Taiwanese Business in Shanghai (台灣上海台商聯誼促進會), two days ago told the Liberty Times that, among others, DPP legislator Hsu Jung-shu (許榮淑) and independent legislator Sisi Chen (陳文茜) are investing in China.

Vice Premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), a former vice chairman of China Motor Co (中華汽車) -- which has investments in China -- still holds more than 20,000 shares in the company.

In response to Chang's allegation, Hsu told the Liberty Times that she has no investments in China and that she doesn't have any money to invest anyway.

While Chen had no comment, Lin's asset statement, as well as his earlier public statements, admit to holding shares in China Motor Co.

Chang said that it is quite common for Taiwanese politicians to have investments in China.

He claimed that apart from a well known senior presidential advisor who has invested in beef noodle and shark's fin restaurants in China together with relatives, Chen has invested in a fairly well-known technology firm offering B2B and B2C e-commerce services, while Hsu has invested in a hospital for Taiwanese businessmen in Suzhou together with an unnamed former legislator.

Chang further alleged that a former high-ranking official in the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Industrial Development Bureau (經濟部工業局), who is said to maintain good business connections in China thanks to a relative having held a high post in China's Zhongxin Group, has established a venture capital company and a large industrial park there.

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