Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday vowed to deal with the China Youth Corps as part of the nation’s effort to achieve transitional justice, saying it is a “colossal parasite” that should be subject to public scrutiny given that it won as many as 207 government contracts from 2001 to this year.
Despite the corps being changed from a government-affiliated agency to a civic group, it has created so many private foundations and for-profit businesses that it has become a “profit-generating monster” that cannot fit into a specific category, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
“At the moment, the for-profit businesses affiliated with the corps continue to bring in revenue and take up many government projects under the corps’ banner. How is that allowed?” Lee said.
The corps was established by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in 1952 to provide basic military training to young men before they were conscripted, and remained under the control of the Ministry of National Defense until 1969.
The corps in 1989 registered with the Ministry of the Interior as an independent nonprofit civic group, before removing the term “anti-communist” from its Chinese-language name in 2000.
From 2001 to this year, it won 207 government projects with a combined value of NT$550 million (US$18.89 million), an amount that does not include the corps’ other sources of revenue, DPP Legislator Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) said.
“It is therefore reasonable to subject the corps to public scrutiny,” Su said.
Over the years, the corps — which currently owns 15 youth activity centers and 54 cram schools — has seen its assets balloon from NT$5 million in 1989 to as much as NT$5.7 billion in 2015, DPP Legislator Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) said.
The corps must also be dealt with as part of the naton’s ongoing transitional justice process, Lee said, adding that the party is seeking to address the issue through legislation in addition to the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee’s ongoing investigation into the corps’ alleged link with the KMT.
Cross-party negotiations are taking place about a draft act on civic groups, while a bill on private foundations is being reviewed by lawmakers serving on the Legislative Yuan’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, Lee said.
The two bills are designed to increase transparency at civic groups and private foundations.
The assets committee has held two public hearings on the corps’ case, on Feb. 24 and Oct. 24 last year.
As the corps’ case is a complicated one, the committee is still looking into how much of its assets have stemmed from the KMT’s illegitimately gained properties, assets committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said yesterday.
The corps’ chance of being listed as a KMT affiliate was high, Shih said, adding that the committee would make a ruling at the conclusion of its investigation.
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