Sat, Dec 20, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT vows to return disputed party assets

OWNERSHIP The party announced that it would return two buildings and seven movie theaters to their former owners following sharp criticism by the DPP

By Huang Tai-lin and Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Following a volley of criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) about its disputed party assets, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it was renouncing ownership of two major buildings and seven movie theaters.

The two buildings, on Chunghua Road, Taipei, are to be handed over to the Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油).

The movie theaters, which are located throughout Taiwan, are to be transferred to the government from the KMT-related Central Motion Picture Corp (中央電影公司), the KMT's Administration and Management Committee director-general, Chang Che-shen (張哲琛), said at a news conference yesterday.

The news conference, held at the KMT's headquarters, followed a barrage of accusations from the DPP, which has decided to focus its campaign propaganda on challenging the KMT about assets it had allegedly acquired during its 50 years in government.

DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) yesterday said the two buildings -- the Shih Chien Building (實踐大樓) and Shih Chien Hall (實踐堂) -- were state assets that had been misappropriated by the KMT. He said that Chinese Petroleum had financially contributed to the construction of these buildings, but that the KMT had taken over their ownership.

On Thursday DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) had accused the KMT of taking over 19 theaters nationwide from the Japanese government following World War II. He said the KMT had raked in a lot of money by selling these properties.

Chang said yesterday that the KMT had decided to relinquish ownership of Shih Chien Hall last year. He said the party is currently negotiating the details with Chinese Petroleum.

Regarding the 19 theaters, which the Japanese colonial government had transferred to the Central Motion Picture Corp after the war, Chang said that eight of them have been sold.

Disputed assets

The Chinese National Party (KMT) says it will give up ownership of the following:

New World Cinema in Taipei (新世界戲院)

Taichung Cinema (台中戲院)

Chiayi Cinema (嘉義戲院)

Yenping Cinema in Tainan (延平戲院)

Sohsing Cinema in Kaohsiung (壽星戲院)

Kuanhua Cinema in Pingtong (光華戲院)

Hsinsheng Cinema in Yilan (新生戲院)

The Shih Chien Building (實踐大樓) and Shih Chien Hall in Taipei (實踐堂)

KMT property the Democratic Progressive Party describes as ill-gotten assets:

The KMT's headquarter in Taipei

Nineteen movie theaters nationwide

The Shih Chien Building and Shih Chien Hall

Land occupied by the KMT-owned Broadcasting Corporation of China (BBC)

In response to a question about why his party had waited until yesterday before announcing its decision to relinquish the seven theaters, Chang said the Central Motion Picture Corp is part of a corporation in which the KMT holds 50 percent of shares, and that the party had certain procedural steps to follow before it could release its shares.

"Although relevant issues have yet to be resolved, the KMT chose to announce its decision to relinquish these assets today," Chang said.

"Since last year the KMT has been continuously disposing of its party assets and returning property to former owners," Chang said.

According to Chan, as of the end of August, 120 of the 165 properties that belonged to the KMT have been returned to their original donors.

Dismissing the DPP's allegations that the KMT had sold off stocks and other assets worth NT$240 billion for cash, Chang said the documents related to disputed property have been handed to relevant agencies for investigation. He said the KMT's party assets were a "legacy" of history.

Chan yesterday questioned the DPP's timing and motivation in addressing issues concerning the KMT's party assets.

"Back when the DPP was an opposition party it had already raised questions about the KMT's party property, and the Control Yuan completed its investigations on the issue two years ago," Chang said.

"If there were any problematic parts [with regard to the report], why didn't the DPP raise questions then? Why did it wait till shortly before the election?" he asked.

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