Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Jinan University alumni indicted over China ties

By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday indicted Jinan University Taiwanese Alumni Association secretary-general Fu Wen-chi (傅文齊) and chief executive Lee Wan-ping (李宛平) on charges of colluding with Chinese officials and building an illegal organization for China’s use.

Fu and Lee are charged under the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), the indictment read.

Fu and Lee tried to recruit into their organization “three or four army officers, both active and retired, lawmakers and legislative staffers,” without naming or disclosing the purpose of the organization, it said.

If the allegations are true, Fu’s and Lee’s activities showed how Chinese officials leveraged academic exchanges with Taiwan to gain intelligence and influence.

Fu attended Jinan University in Guangzhou in China’s Guangdong Province and became acquainted with several officials at China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), prosecutors said.

He rose in the alumni organization in Taiwan to become its secretary-general and recruited Lee to be its chief executive, they said.

From 2009 to 2016, Fu and Lee attempted to develop an illicit organization in Taiwan, after receiving instructions from a TAO official known as “Xiao Wu” (小吳), prosecutors said.

Through Lee’s connections, Fu cultivated contacts with targets of recruitment and arranged overseas trips for them in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand, where they met Chinese officials in circumstances that were designed to appear coincidental, prosecutors said.

Fu and Lee collaborated with Chung Yi-min (鍾怡敏), an official at the unlicensed Christian Chung-Deh College (基督崇德學院), to illegally facilitate Taiwanese students’ enrollment in Chinese schools, including Jinan University, they said.

Chung allegedly forged credentials and diplomas for unqualified applicants as part of the services thatthe three provided to their clientele, which included several lawmakers, legislative aides and businesspeople that the prosecution described as “prominent.”

The charges against Chung — forgery and breaching the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area — would be deferred if he pays NT$120,000 to the government, the indictment said.

The Investigation Bureau investigated the subjects for several years using different methods, including wiretapping, the indictment said, adding that the officers, lawmakers and staffers involved in the case all stated under oath that they had not colluded with Chinese officials.

Since there is no evidence that any of the people targeted by Fu and Lee have leaked or tried to give away state secrets, the pair have only been charged with attempting “to develop an organization for the official use of a foreign country or Mainland China” under Article 2-1 of the National Security Act, prosecutors said.

Lee Liang-heng (李亮恆), a former legislative aide to then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Liao Wan-ju (廖婉汝), was involved in collecting intelligence for China on the US-Taiwan Defense Industry Conference and Taiwan’s national defense and foreign affairs ministries, prosecutors said.

However, as none of the information that Lee Liang-heng gathered was classified, the prosecution decided against indicting him.

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