New Party spokesman denies allegations of collusion

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jan 03, 2018 - Page 1

New Party spokesman Wang Ping-chung (王炳忠) yesterday rejected prosecutors’ conclusion that an online news platform and association in which he is involved are funded by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, accusing prosecutors of making groundless accusations.

Wang made the remarks at an evening news conference in Taipei, called hours after the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office alleged that Chinese national Zhou Hongxu (周泓旭), convicted last year of violating the National Security Act (國家安全法), had in 2015 used his relations with Wang and two other New Party members to develop a spy organization in service of China through the Fire News (燎原新聞網) Web site and the New China Youth Association.

Wang established Fire News in 2015 and serves as chairman of the association.

“I hereby guarantee that Fire News has never received any funding from the Chinese Communist Party [CCP]. It is just a crude Web site founded without any capital, nor is it registered as a company,” Wang said.

Wang said he and his friends founded the Web site, which publishes opinion pieces and simplified explanations of news events.

As for the association, Wang said it was established long before he became acquainted with Zhou, dismissing the possibility that it was used by Zhou to further his agenda.

Wang cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecutors’ conclusion, saying it was clearly only based on information they extracted from Zhou’s computer and that no concrete evidence was found.

New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) also raised the possibility that someone from the prosecutors’ office leaked information of the investigation to media personality Clara Chou (周玉蔻) while it was still ongoing, demanding that an investigation be launched into the matter.

“In her previous accusations, Chou used a specific phrase: ‘[Developing an organization that] listens to the party’s [CCP’s] orders and can be used during war.’ The same phase appeared in the prosecutors’ office’s news release,” Yok said.

Chou during a political talk show late last month said that Wang’s family received NT$5 million (US$168,759), presumably from China, and that Wang had established a paramilitary organization in Taiwan on behalf of the Chinese government.