Tue, Feb 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

MOI report sheds light on China Youth Corps

By Chen Yu-fu  /  Staff reporter

The China Youth Corps (救國團) was led by premiers and education ministers from 1970 to 1989, a recently completed Ministry of the Interior (MOI) investigation showed. One Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker said the corps leadership was a typical way that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) funneled state money into a party-affiliated organization.

Ordered by the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee on Dec. 11 last year to investigate the corps’ organizational structure and operations, the ministry’s report said the corps was first placed under the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and then under the Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Education (MOE) from 1970 to 1989.

Education ministers used to double as the corps’ conveners and presided over its youth workshop meetings, the investigative report said.

The corps was established in 1952 as the China Youth Anti-Communist Nation Salvation Corps (中國青年反共救國團). It organized training for students and young adults, and was in charge of military training at high schools and universities.

Placed under the MOE in 1970, the corps registered with the MOI as a “social movement organization” and, in August 1989, as a “social organization.” From 1970 to 1989, former premiers Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Lee Huan (李煥) were corps directors, while the education ministers of that period chaired youth workshop meetings and established corps chapters in cities and counties.

Chiang in August 1974 set out a set of corps tasks and duties in which it was to conduct projects to assimilate the youth. By 1989, the corps had completed the construction of 13 youth activity centers and an office building in Taipei’s Zhongshan District (中山), which served as its headquarters. It also established Youth Cultural Co (幼獅文化) and the China Youth Service Association (中華青年服務協會).

“It is the best piece of evidence of the party’s control of the state,” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lai Jui-lung (賴瑞隆) said.

The MOE provided NT$380 million (US$12.93 million at the current exchange rate) to the corps from 1950 to 2003 to fund its activities, and an additional NT$458 million to build its activity centers, Lai said.

It was a typical act of channeling state money to an organization founded by the KMT,” Lai said.

During the authoritarian era, the presidents were KMT chairmen, the premiers doubled as corps directors and the education ministers were corps conveners — they abused government resources to develop KMT-affiliated organizations, Lai said, adding that the situation persists even today, as a retired MOE official is now corps director.

Meanwhile, an investigation of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee showed that former minister of education Mao Kao-wen (毛高文) was a member of the corps before becoming minister in 1988, when he also served as director of the KMT’s “Young Intellectuals” branch.

During a New Year’s Eve celebration at Taipei First Girls’ High School in 1988, Mao asked more than 1,000 students to join the KMT, the report said.

In related news, a meeting of the corps’ board on Saturday last week addressed the “overly powerful” authority of the corps director, which led to a contravention of the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法), by revising its charter to reduce the director’s power, making the position just “the corps’ representative to the public.”

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