Conflict nearly broke out over the peaceful student occupation of the Legislative Yuan yesterday when gangster-turned-politician Chang An-le (張安樂) led hundreds of supporters of the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement in a failed attempt to “take back the legislature for the people.”
Chang’s gangster background and adamant support for cross-strait unification were apparent during the obscenity-filled speech he gave outside the Legislative Yuan building, in which he accused the students of “forgetting their roots and the fact that their existence was the result of ‘Chinese fucking each other.’”
A former leader of the Bamboo Union gang — one of the most notorious organized crime groups in the country — and the founder of the China Unification Promotion Party, Chang has endeavored to spread his political views since he returned to Taiwan in June last year after fleeing from justice and living in China for 17 years.
His endeavor was evidenced by a blue pamphlet titled “Peaceful Unification, One Country, Two Systems” (和平統一，一國兩制) that he held close to his chest when he arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on June 30 last year, and the remarks he made in an interview with a Chinese newspaper in July last year stating that his goal was to “cultivate ‘pro-red’ Taiwanese voters.”
Also known as the “White Wolf,” Chang gained notoriety for his role in the 1984 murder of Henry Liu (劉宜良), a naturalized US citizen based in California who wrote an unauthorized and unflattering biography of then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) under the pen name Chiang Nan (江南).
Liu was assassinated in his home in Daly City by two of Chang’s fellow triad members, allegedly on the order of Taiwan’s military intelligence. Chang, who was also living in California at the time, later made public a tell-all tape recorded by the two hit men after they were arrested upon their return to Taiwan, in order to protect the late Bamboo Union gang leader Chen Chi-li (陳啟禮).
Chang was subsequently sentenced to 15 years in a US prison on drug-trafficking charges, during which he obtained two college degrees and made himself the most-educated gangster in Taiwan.
One year after Chang returned to Taiwan in 1995, he was listed as a wanted person for violating the Organized Crime Prevention Act (組織犯罪防制條例). He escaped to China before being apprehended by Taiwanese police.
Chang’s return to Taiwan before the expiration of the statute of limitations for his offense may seem like a win for Taiwanese police.
However, his unexpected release on NT$1 million (US$34,100) bail shortly after his arrest has raised some serious questions about whether he has a hidden political agenda, particularly since he has obtained People’s Republic of China citizenship.