Thu, Dec 02, 2004 - Page 3 News List

`I do not work with China': Lien Chan

POLITICKING KMT Chairman Lien Chan threatened legal action against the president for claiming his party is laundering party assets and challenged Chen to provide proof

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Responding to accusations made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on Tuesday, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) denied yesterday that it is working with China to influence the results of the upcoming legislative elections.

"President Chen Shui-bian is once again making up stories about China supporting the pan-blue camp. This is his habit during each election cycle," KMT spokesperson Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭) said in a statement released late Tuesday night.

While campaigning for legislative candidates in Keelung on Tuesday, Chen said that the recent presence of KMT deputy spokeswoman Kuo Su-chuen (郭素春) at a social dinner with Taiwanese businesspeople in Shanghai, China was proof that China was seeking to interfere in the Dec. 11 elections.

In a retaliatory press conference yesterday, Kuo defended herself against the allegations. While both she and her husband, Hung Hsi-yao (洪璽曜), were at the dinner, Kuo said she was there only as a "polite gesture" in the hopes that Taiwanese businesspeople abroad would vote for the KMT.

Chen is inhuman for putting pressure on the KMT for such a little thing, Kuo said yesterday.

In his statement Tuesday night, Chang also criticized Chen as viewing Taiwanese businesspeople in China as "Communist China's puppets."

"Taiwanese businesspeople in China are also Taiwanese citizens with voting rights," said Chang. "It is natural, for these citizens that care about their country, to invite Taiwanese political figures over to explain the political situation to them," Chang added.

Another focal point of KMT retaliation against Chen yesterday were his accusations Tuesday that the KMT was trying to dispose of party assets through former KMT financial director Hsu Li-teh (徐立德), and Chairman Lien Chan's (連戰) son Sean Lien (連勝文). Pointing to discrepancies between estimated value and rumored sale value of KMT-owned companies -- Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co (華夏投資) and Central Investment Holding Co -- Chen said that Sean Lien and Hsu were using a number of capital companies as fronts to launder KMT party assets by making investments in China.

Sean Lien has previously worked for various international investment banks and is currently a vice president at the GE Asia Pacific Capital Technology Fund based out of Hong Kong. He is rumored to have a private fortune of at least NT$2 billion. Hsu is the former finance director of the KMT and vice premier.

While the Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co is valued at over NT$10 billion, Chen said, it is being sold for just NT$8 billion.

KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) hotly denied the allegations yesterday, while saying that Chen would have to face up to "legal consequences" for slandering the Lien family.

"This is ridiculous. Chen is attacking people without providing evidence. Even my family has become the target of his attacks," Lien said yesterday in Taipei while stumping for KMT legislative candidate Justin Chou (周守訓).

Chen should provide evidence of his accusations, if he has any, Lien said.

It was unclear yesterday if Lien was planning to take legal action against Chen.

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