Historians at a forum yesterday said that much of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) assets were acquired illegally and should be returned to private individuals or the state coffers.
Based on his studies of the KMT's archives and declassified documents, Li Fu-chung (
After losing the Chinese Civil War and fleeing to Taiwan in 1947, the KMT regime, faced with formidable expenses, continued to mix the party and state coffers, Li said.
After Japan was defeated in World War II and ended its colonial rule of Taiwan, Li said the KMT took over Japanese property that should have become public assets and managed them as a business for party profit.
Li made the remarks at a forum held in Taipei yesterday. He was one of the panelists invited to speak at yesterday's forum, titled "Post-World War II Dossier and Historic Study."
The two-day forum was organized by the Academia Historica and held at the National Central Library.
Chang Jen-chieh (
Many of the party's assets were taken over after the Japanese left in 1945, Chang said, but the government was having problems claiming them as public assets because little is known about how the KMT obtained them.
Huang Shih-hsin (黃世鑫), dean of the Public Affairs College at National Taipei University, quoted a KMT publication that referred to the KMT regime as a party-state authoritarianism that nevertheless obtained all party assets legally.
"While the public may find flaws in the acquisition process, all were acquired according to existing laws," Huang quoted the publication as saying.
Huang, however, argued that a party can only manage or make use of state assets, but not possess them. When the KMT left power, it should have returned those assets to the state, he said, adding that the KMT was illegally holding onto public property.
Meanwhile, Shiu Wen-tang (
Shiu said French president Charles de Gaulle sent a delegation to see Chiang one week before France established diplomatic ties with China. France had hoped Chiang would accept their offer of dual recognition of the People's Republic of China and the ROC, but the offer was rejected by Chiang, who cut ties with France in 1946, Shiu said.
Wu Chih-chung (
Chen Wen-hsien (