Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesperson Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) yesterday rebuffed KMT chairperson candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) with historical documents demonstrating that the KMT had been financially aided by the government, rather than the other way around as Hung claimed.
The KMT caucus on Thursday called on the party headquarters to donate the remaining party assets after deducting current and retired party workers’ pensions. KMT chairperson candidates Apollo Chen (陳學聖), Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) and Hung agreed with the proposal, while Lee Hsin (李新) said the assets should be shared among the party members.
However, Hung also said that the problem of the KMT’s party assets has its “historical background” and should not be treated as a crime, adding that “returning party assets to zero” is a “pseudo-issue.”
She said that the KMT had also contributed a lot to the government, citing the amount of gold and national treasures now housed in the National Palace Museum that the party had brought from China in 1949 and asked the public to rationally examine whether it was the government that had helped the party or the party that had helped the government.
Yang took issue with Hung yesterday, saying on a Facebook post that it is a “fact as hard as iron” that the government had assisted the party rather than the other way around.
He posted two photographs, one of a KMT file and the other of a newspaper clipping, along with the article as evidence to support his statement.
The file, dated 1953, shows that the KMT’s party affairs expenditure was NT$21 million (US$637,329 at current rates), about half of which was covered by “government aid.”
The party returned only NT$1 million and then-KMT chairman Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) said “okay” to this financial management, Yang said.
He said files like this one are abundant and asked the party as a whole to “rationally examine” them and make them public.
“Some might argue that that was only a provisional measure, but we can see [from the news clipping] that 26 years later, in 1979, the KMT was still criticized for ‘footing the bills of its activities with local government budget,’” Yang said.
“The party assets had not only been a product of government assistance, but also of deprivation of people,” Yang said. “Only when the KMT could stare the injustice of the party assets in the face could it relieve itself of the burden and make the right choice on the issues concerning transitional justice.”
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