Taiwan High Court rules against BCC on land dispute

By Hsiang Cheng-chen and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 - Page 4

The Taiwan High Court yesterday ruled against the Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) in a case disputing BCC’s ownership of eight plots of land in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Banciao District (板橋).

The court ruled that the land belongs to the state and ordered the BCC to withdraw its land ownership registry.

The eight lots form a big parcel of prime real estate on Minzu Road in Banciao, with a total area of about 5,400 ping (17,851m2), and a market value of between NT$9.1 billion and NT$13.5 billion (US$300 million to US$450 million).

The case can still be appealed.

The radio broadcasting network was owned by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) until 2005, although its management and policies are still affiliated with the KMT.

If the final ruling favors the plaintiff — the Ministry of Transportation and Communications — it would mean a significant boost to the state coffers.

The case was filed in 2004 by the ministry under the then-Democratic Progressive Party administration.

In the civilian lawsuit against the BCC, it said the land is national property that the then-KMT regime took over following Japan’s defeat in World War II.

Listed as national property, the land was entrusted to the ministry and the KMT’s Central Committee Radio Broadcasting Station, the organization that preceded the BCC.

The station transferred management of the land to the BCC in 1980, and in 1985, transferred ownership of the land to the BCC.

The High Court said yesterday that when the government entrusted the BCC to take over the management of Japanese-era broadcasting stations, it did not mean passing the ownership on to the BCC, as the land still belongs to the state.

The court added that when the station transferred the land registry to the BCC, it violated the National Property Act (國有財產法).