Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

China Youth Corps celebrates founding, despite suspicions

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Wu Den-yih speaks at an event celebrating the 65th anniversary of the China Youth Corps in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Tim

Several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweights yesterday refuted a connection between the party and the China Youth Corps, as they celebrated the corps’ 65th anniversary amid the government’s attempt to establish a link between the two.

At a celebration at the Chientan Youth Activity Center in Taipei, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the activities held by the China Youth Corps today serve the purposes of education, service, health and public welfare, which are also the organization’s founding principles.

“It has helped the Republic of China cultivate a multitude of talents and made tremendous a contribution to society,” Wu said.

The Chientan Youth Activity Center is run by the corps, which was founded in 1952 after the then-KMT central reform committee passed a resolution to “depose Chinese communists and resist Soviet Union forces.” It was known as the China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps until 2000.

Wu said although the corps did receive subsidies from the Ministry of National Defense in its early years, it has become self-reliant since Jeanne Li (李鍾桂) became director of the corps in 1987.

If the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee rules the corps is a KMT affiliate, it would be far-fetched, unreasonable and illegitimate, Wu said.

The Executive Yuan committee is investigating whether the KMT had ever directly controlled the corp’s personnel, finances and management, with two public hearings held on the issue.

The corps has dismissed such links, saying that it was first founded as a government agency under the defense ministry, before being registered with the Ministry of the Interior as a “social movement organization” and later as an independent nonprofit.

However, the committee said that Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) diaries told a meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee in 1958 that the corps, a group affiliated with the defense ministry and an important youth organization for the KMT, should “report its work planning and execution to the party headquarters and receive leadership from the party.”

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) when he was Taipei mayor, said that the China Youth Corps won the bids for five of the city government’s 12 sports centers, but no one from the corps tried to lobby him during the bidding process.

“The corps has recently been subjected to some undeserved mistreatment. I hope it can fight until the end through legal means,” Ma said, adding that no one is entitled to deprive another of their constitutionally protected property rights without a court order.

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