Tue, Sep 11, 2012 - Page 3 News List

‘Conflict of interest’ compromising SEF chairman: TSU say

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) has failed to avoid conflicts of interest and is suspected of having used his position in a university institution as an “accomplice” in Beijing’s “united front” strategy, a lawmaker said yesterday.

Large donations to the National Taipei University’s Center for Asian Studies, where Chiang serves as chairman, came almost exclusively from Taiwanese businesspeople with investments in China, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) told a press conference.

While no illegal practices have been found, the connection between large donations, Chiang’s position as SEF chairman — Taiwan’s top negotiator with China — and donations for scholarships and research programs in China are suspicious, Hsu said.

Hsu disclosed a list of 31 donations reportedly made to the center since 2008.

Almost all individual donations between NT$100,000 and NT$2.5 million (US$842,000) were earmarked for the center’s “Chiang Pin-kung Lecture Series.”

Corporate donations ranged between NT$2 million and NT$3 million, with NT$3 miilion from companies with large investments in China, including Wei-Chuan Foods Co, Asian Business Development Enterprise and Yue Yuen Industrial, Hsu said.

While it is called the Center for Asian Studies, it only focuses on Chinese affairs and its scholarships are for research and study in China with all of the grants having to be be spent in that country, Hsu said.

As Taiwan’s top negotiator, Chiang should have avoided these conflicts of interest, Hsu said, adding that the practice risked turning the institution into an accomplice in Beijing’s “united front strategy.”

TSU Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin says:

‧ Major donations to National Taipei University’s Center for Asian Studies came almost exclusively from businesspeople with investments in China.

‧ Corporate donations came from several large companies including Wei-Chuan Foods Co and Asian Business Development Enterprise.

‧ The Center for Asian Studies focuses solely on Chinese affairs.

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