Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Al-Jazeera reporter ‘infiltrates’ CPA

MODUS OPERANDI:The Concentric Patriotism Association told the reporter that it only trusted people with family in China and that it paid Taiwanese to attend events

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Concentric Patriotism Association head Zhou Qinjun presses the bell at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office on March 10, 2015.

Photo: Chen Wei-tse, Taipei Times

A 25-minute investigative documentary aired by Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV has shed some light on how pro-unification groups operate in Taiwan, including by reportedly paying people to attend events and asking the police for the names of independence advocates.

The documentary was produced by Lynn Lee (李成琳) and seeks to draw attention to activities of pro-unification groups in Taiwan, most notably the Concentric Patriotism Association (CPA, 愛國同心會) and the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP), whose members have grabbed headlines by attacking independence advocates and Falun Gong members staging a sit-in outside Taipei 101.

The network sent an undercover reporter posing as a Chinese visitor to Taiwan in an attempt to infiltrate the CPA.

During the reporter’s conversations with CPA executive director Zhang Xiuye (張秀葉), a Chinese immigrant, Zhang told him that the association paid people between NT$800 and NT$900 per day to wave the national flag of the People’s Republic of China.

Zhang told the reporter that it is illegal to take money from China, but it is legal to accept money from China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, such as CPA head Zhou Qinjun (周慶峻), who she said would often receive “special care” from the Chinese government.

“Authorities in China know which businesses support unification and they will do their best to make sure you do not lose money,” Zhang told the reporter.

The CPA is very careful when recruiting people, requesting that they show their Chinese identification cards, apparently out of fear that members might disclose its activities to outsiders, the documentary said.

“I don’t trust Taiwanese. I only trust Chinese, because as Chinese we all have relatives in China,” Zhou said. “You cannot disclose what we do here to outsiders. If you do that, you might not be affected, but your relatives in China will get hurt.”

The researcher also filmed a telephone conversation between Zhou and what appeared to be a Taiwanese police officer, in which the CPA head asked the officer for a list of names of people who support independence at his precinct.

“First, I hope to get a list of independence supporters. Second, I’m sending him a warning: Don’t think about being pro-independence or I’ll come after you,” Zhou said after the telephone call.

As for the operations of the CUPP, a CPA member said that triads were using the party to “whitewash” their reputations.

“Right now, all kinds of triads are in the CUPP. Why have they joined the party? There is only one reason: to whitewash their reputations,” the member said. “They can have a sign that says they’re a CUPP branch office, but inside it is a triad branch.”

CUPP founder Chang An-le (張安樂), the former Bamboo Union (竹聯幫) gang leader known as the “White Wolf,” is facing investigations for allegedly receiving funding from China to carry out destabilizing activities in Taiwan.

When contacted yesterday, National Police Agency officials said they needed to verify the details of the al-Jazeera report and could not yet respond to the allegations.

Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said that while Taiwan is a democratic and free nation where different political stances are respected, the council opposes the use of violence or coercive means for any political causes.

Additional reporting by Jason Pan

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