Tue, May 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Asset committee collecting information on CARES

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee is collecting information regarding the ties between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Association for Relief and Ensuing Services (CARES), a committee spokeswoman said yesterday.

CARES, which was a semi-government organization founded in 1950 to provide aid to Chinese political dissidents in exile as part of the KMT regime’s anti-communist campaign, was listed as an affiliate of the KMT by the Executive Yuan during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) has reported that the committee would next investigate the association.

CARES was funded with government subsidies, US financial aid and public donations, and it has transformed into an organization dedicated to disaster relief and the welfare of Chinese spouses, teenage Aborigines and senior citizens.

CARES has been occupying 19 public properties in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) covering 1.27 hectares since 1975, with an estimated market value of NT$7.7 billion (US$254.8 million).

Some of the properties have been turned into a kindergarten and a parking lot, generating a combined annual income of about NT$200 million.

CARES was not asked to pay for using the properties until 2011.

Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) confirmed that the committee is in the process of collecting evidence concerning the suspected link between the KMT and CARES.

“The committee is evaluating the necessity of establishing a case against the CARES and other organizations that were implicated in the investigations conducted by [Chen’s] administration before 2008,” Shih said.

However, there is no immediate plan to conduct hearings to determine CARES’ status — a necessary step to make any formal recognition of the organization’s link with the KMT, she said.

CARES’ use of state-owned properties should be handled by the National Property Administration, while the committee is responsible for illicitly acquired assets of political parties and their affiliates, she said.

The CARES staff was allowed to combine their years of service in the organization and the government to qualify for pensions — a privilege given to members of the KMT and some organizations founded by the party — but that alone could not be used to substantiate a link between the KMT and CARES, Shih said.

The committee’s priority in the second half of this year would be finalizing its investigations into Central Investment Co (中央投資公司), Hsinyutai Co (欣裕台), the National Women’s League, the China Youth Corps, Broadcasting Corp of China and Central Motion Picture Corp to determine their relationship to the KMT, she added.

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