Sat, Oct 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Ministry told to redouble efforts on Seoul property

By Lin Liang-sheng, Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A branch of Taiwan’s representative office in Seoul, South Korea, allegedly illegally occupied by a Chinese compatriot organization, is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: Taipei Times

The reclamation of three parcels of government-owned land in South Korea shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has taken previous Control Yuan corrective measures to heart, but the ministry should redouble its efforts, Control Yuan member Gau Fheng-shian (高鳳仙) said on Thursday.

The Control Yuan issued a corrective measures notice to the ministry in 2013 demanding that it and the Taipei Mission in South Korea make efforts to reclaim 27 parcels of land in South Korea which had allegedly been occupied illegally by Chinese compatriot organizations.

The Control Yuan report in 2013 said that the ministry had incomplete files on the original contracts with the Compatriots Service Committee, in effect the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) chapter in South Korea, which was leasing government-owned land in Seoul at no cost.

Earlier efforts by the mission in Seoul in March 2012 asking the committee to sign a contract as per the National Property Act (國有財產法) went unanswered, the Control Yuan report said.

Over the past three years since the corrective measures notice was issued, the Control Yuan has repeatedly asked the ministry and the mission to resolve the issue, Gau said.

While the committee and the mission are using the same building, the building is registered in the name of the government, Gau said, adding that the committee had refused to sign an entrusted management agreement.

“Perhaps they are afraid that the land would be returned to its rightful owner,” Gau said.

Gau said the committee resented a clause in the contract which stated that the mission, if need arises, could notify the committee three months in advance that it would be reclaiming the property unconditionally.

The committee claimed that it owned the land, despite it being registered in the government’s name, Gau said.

Others documents, signed by the Qing Empire’s military attache to the Kingdom of Joseon between 1909 and 1912, said that the plots of land were “forever leased” to local Chinese compatriot organizations, Gau said.

The issue had not been taken to court due to fears that a verdict would return the land not to Taiwan, but to China, given that the issue concerns Qing Empire legal documents, Gau said.

Ministry spokesperson Wang Pei-ling (王珮玲) said that the ministry would investigate the issue and report to the Executive Yuan every three months.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top