Wed, Oct 17, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Premier denies targeting cash for pan-blues

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Premier William Lai, right, and Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin take part in a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Government measures to step up scrutiny of wire transfers to and from China are aimed at deterring money laundering and are non-partisan, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said yesterday, dismissing allegations that they are meant to limit donations to pan-blue candidates in the elections next month.

The Chinese-language China Times yesterday reported that the government has ordered state-run banks to strictly review wire transfers by Taiwanese businesses to and from China and to only process those that have invoices.

The policy is disguised as an effort to deter money laundering, but is really aimed at discouraging Taiwanese businesspeople in China from making cash donations to pan-blue candidates, the report said.

The policy does not apply to wires to and from other nations, it added.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus held a news conference decrying the policy, accusing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of establishing a financial “Dong Chang” (東廠) — a Ming Dynasty secret police and spy agency.

Lai rejected the allegations at a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Yuan.

It is wrong to use divide and conquer tactics to project an image that the government is trying to curb capital inflows from Taiwanese businesses in China, as government efforts to crack down on money laundering are nonpartisan, the premier said.

The government welcomes investment by Taiwanese businesses based overseas and is drawing up policies to boost this type of investment, he said.

Taiwan is fulfilling its duty as a member of the international community by cracking down on money laundering, which helps to counter terrorism, human trafficking and the sale of controlled substances, he said.

Dismissing the report as exaggerated, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) said that it is only natural for the government to enforce rules under the Money Laundering Control Act (洗錢防制法), which are not directed at any political parties.

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