Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Communism shrine a threat: official

By Yan Hung-chun and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A former temple that was converted into a shrine to communism could become a security threat if it remains standing, a National Security Bureau official said on Sunday, adding that the bureau was happy that the Changhua County Government intends to demolish it.

The county government on Friday cut water and power supply to the former Buddhist temple and said it would demolish illegal buildings on the property tomorrow.

Wei Ming-jen (魏明仁), a contractor and former military officer, bought the property and used it as a means to allow Chinese influence to serve his own interests, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Wei is nobody of importance on either side of the Taiwan Strait, but people who embrace communism and “[Chinese President] Xi Jinping [習近平] thought” are used as pawns by Chinese officials in their “united front” strategy, the official said.

Flag-raising ceremonies at the temple were watched by the Chinese government, the official said, adding that former intelligence and national security officers found that doors opened for them in China after they attended the ceremonies.

Taiwanese looking to secure influence in China would use Facebook to “check in” at the temple, or share photographs of themselves with Wei, the official said.

Some retirees have taken advantage of this to do business in China, the official said, adding that one retiree had become wealthy by selling Taiwanese fruit in China.

With the recent instability in cross-strait relations, the bureau is concerned that some retired officials might sell confidential information in a bid to stay in China, the official said.

For some “unworthy retired officials,” going to the temple was a way to get a new lease on life in China, making it increasingly a national security matter, the official said.

Changhua County Commissioner Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) on Sunday said that “not a single brick or tile would be left in place” after local residents asked whether the county government would honor its promise to tear down illegal buildings on the property.

After power to the temple was cut, Wei Ming-jen set up a portable generator to continue broadcasting the Chinese national anthem.

“Buying a portable generator is within Wei Ming-jen’s rights, but if his blasting of the Chinese national anthem disturbs local residents, the Environmental Protection Bureau would deal with it,” the commissioner said.

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