Media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻) yesterday alleged that Ting Hsin International Group (頂新國際集團) had donated NT$200 million (US$6) in cash under the table as a political donation, but did not specify whether it was made to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) or the government.
The KMT responded by saying that it would take legal action if Chou failed to clarify the issue within a week.
Chou’s allegation came on the heels of KMT Legislator Alex Tsai’s (蔡正元) revelation on Wednesday that KMT Deputy Secretary-
General Lin Teh-jui (林德瑞) had urged KMT Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) to go easy on the scandal-ridden food corporation during Lien’s campaign.
Claiming that Ting Hsin had made off-the-books donations, Chou said the information was from a former top national security official, and called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) to clarify the situation. She added that having a government spokesperson negate those claims would be far from sufficient.
Presidential Office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) denied the accusation that the president was a “gatekeeper” for the food giant earlier yesterday, responding to remarks by Tsai and another KMT legislator, Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑), who also claimed on a radio show on Wednesday that the Presidential Office had a “burden” and “could not act freely since gifts had been received.”
Hsieh amended his statement yesterday, saying that he had no proof and that it was a “hypothesis” he arrived at due to the government’s failure to act aggressively against the corporation.
Lin rebutted Chou’s accusation, saying that President Ma’s campaign had not received any donations from Ting Hsin, nor had the KMT between 2008 and last year.
Wei Ying-chun (魏應充), former chairman of Wei Chuan Foods Corp (味全食品工業) — a Ting Hsin subsidiary, was a member of a “fan club for Ma and Wu” — that is, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) — composed of business group representatives during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) accused Chou of spreading rumors and deliberately overlooking the clarification issued by the party.
Fan said that the false accusation has severely damaged the KMT’s reputation, and demanded that Chou publicly reveal within a week the name of the person who made the bribery claim, or the party would take legal action against her.
Former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) also asked Chou to stop the allusion game, as Chou yesterday also alleged that he had received benefits from Ting Hsin.
Lo denied the accusation and urged Chou to be straightforward and come out from behind her “legal firewall.”
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts