Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Author slams politicians for being afraid of Beijing

BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN  /  STAFF REPORTER

A businessman turned activist yesterday urged politicians to see beyond partisanship and help businesspeople victimized in China.

William Kao (高維邦), organizer of the Victims of Investment in China Association, said he was frustrated by the unwillingness of political leaders and cross-strait officials to write a preface for his soon-to-be published book about the traps unwary investors can fall into when doing business in China.

"I put together the experiences of 30 businessmen who invested in China, explaining how their properties were expropriated and how they were defrauded. The politicians were hesitant to back this book because they do not want to offend the Chinese government," Kao said.

He said he had asked for prefaces from Chinese Nationalist Party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), but received no replies.

"I could understand the politicians' concern -- wanting to try and maintain a harmonious relationship with China -- but they also have a responsibility to remind the public not to fall into traps when investing in China," Kao said.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) agreed to contribute a preface.

DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) provided one in place of Su.

"Wu told me that he was very busy so he was unable to write a preface," Kao said.

Wu said yesterday that he would not comment on Kao's remarks or request.

Kao set up VICA to help other Taiwanese businesspeople after having property worth US$1 million stolen from his factory in Beijing in 1999. He said the association has more than 100 members.

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