The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday disclosed financial data regarding the establishment of Central Investment Co (中央投資公司), saying the party used legal sources of income to raise capital to found the firm, which is suspected of being a KMT-affiliated organization.
The KMT in 1971 raised NT$200 million (US$6.32 million at current exchange rates) in founding capital using government bonds paid for by party membership fees, a special fee collected from party members and the profits of party-run organizations, KMT Administration Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) told a news conference.
The party collected NT$1.66 billion from 1945 to 1971, including NT$1.38 billion in membership fees and NT$700 million in accumulated interest from party-run organizations, which was more than sufficient to fund the establishment of Central Investment, Chiu said.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
The party held three special fundraising campaigns in 1946, 1948 and 1952 and collected about 19 billion old Taiwan dollars (法幣) and 128,000 in gold yuan (金圓券), as well as NT$7.1 million and a small amount of foreign currency.
A number of KMT-run organizations, including Chiloo Industries Inc (齊魯企業), moved from China to Taiwan when the Republic of China government fled to Taiwan, and they had a total value of US$777,598 in 1949, which converted into NT$885 million at the time.
“[The disclosure of the data] is an answer to doubts over how the KMT had the money to establish Central Investment in 1971, and to the claim that Chiloo came to Taiwan empty-handed and raised capital with money plundered from Taiwanese,” Chiu said, adding that the KMT-run organizations were funded by the party’s legal incomes instead of public properties.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee held a hearing on Oct. 7 about the status of Central Investment and its spinoff Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台股份有限公司), which have a combined value of NT$15.4 billion, to determine whether they are KMT-affiliated organizations.
The hearing procedure was flawed, because it was chaired by committee chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) instead of third-party experts, and Chiu’s statements on the hearing were edited out of context or falsely transcribed in the meeting’s minutes, but the committee obstructed his attempt to correct them, Chiu said.
Lawyer Chang Shao-teng (張少騰) said the committee refused the KMT’s request to summon witnesses, including former KMT officials, to provide information about the issue, which was against an appropriate hearing procedure.
Central Investment chairman Gordon Chen (陳樹) said the committee should not presume the company and its spinoff to be affiliated with the KMT without evidence.
The appropriate way to deal with ill-gotten assets is to allow the KMT to declare financial statements within a year as per the Act Governing the Handling of Ill-gotten Properties by Political Parties and Their Affiliate Organizations (政黨及其附隨組織不當取得財產處理條例), after which the committee can decide on the status of the two companies and take legal action, Chen said.
The KMT submitted the data to the committee on Friday last week.
Meanwhile, committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said it was commendable that the KMT voluntarily disclosed the information, but the disclosure was not made during a hearing and the data have yet to be verified.
“The KMT’s unilateral claim cannot be relied on as the only account of how Central Investment was funded and the party should reveal more evidence for public oversight,” she said.
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