Fri, Jan 10, 2020 - Page 1 News List

2020 Elections: KMT’s Alex Tsai denies coercion of ‘spy’ William Wang

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Alex Tsai holds a time line of discussions with self-professed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Alex Tsai (蔡正元) yesterday said that the party did not offer self-professed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強) residency in Taiwan in exchange for a public retraction of his story.

The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday reported that Wang, who is seeking to defect to Australia, on Dec. 24 received messages that he could face retaliation unless he recanted statements about working for Chinese intelligence agencies and benefits if he did so.

Wang received directives to record a video message before tomorrow’s presidential election retracting spy allegations about Hong Kong-based China Innovation Investment (中國創新投資) executive director Xiang Xin (向心) and stating that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had paid him “a large sum of money” to lie, the Australian newspapers said.

Wang was told that he would be able to live in Taiwan or China, and would receive financial benefits if he complied, but faced death if he refused to cooperate, the reports said.

The directives were coordinated by Tsai and China-based businessman Sun Tianqun (孫天群), the newspapers reported, adding that one of the messages sent to Wang said: “The KMT has agreed that they can let him freely settle in Taiwan.”

At a news conference at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday, Tsai said that he had spoken with Wang over the telephone several times, but denied promising him any reward for retracting his story.

He began communicating with Wang at about Christmas last year after Sun introduced them, Tsai said.

Sun was trying to save Xiang, the two of whom are friends, from national security officials, Tsai said.

Xiang and his wife, China Innovation Investment acting director Kung Ching (龔青), were detained by authorities in Taiwan on Nov. 24 last year after Wang accused them of being Chinese intelligence officers. They have been barred from leaving Taiwan.

“Wang is not a spy and Xiang is not the leader of a spy ring,” Tsai said, adding that he and Sun were urging Wang to tell the truth.

“Wang did not receive any threats,” Tsai said, adding that he might have invented the story after an argument with Sun over money.

Wang told Sun that he would retract the story if he was paid, Tsai said, adding that the two had not agreed on an amount.

“No threats were involved,” Tsai said. “It was just a friend trying to protect Xiang. It had absolutely nothing to do with Taiwan’s presidential election.”

Tsai also played a voice recording of The Ages interview with Sun.

In the interview, Sun told the newspaper that Wang had admitted to him in a private conversation that he received money from former DPP secretary-general Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) to lie about being employed by Xiang to work for Chinese intelligence.

Sun said in the recording that he has no ties to Chinese intelligence and he had not been instructed by the KMT to contact Wang.

Sun’s actual conversation with The Age was “very different” from the report published on Wednesday, Tsai said.

The Age is “very biased, just like some Taiwanese newspapers, focusing only on the things it wants,” he said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top