Lawmakers take aim at CUPP finances

PARTY OF WOLVES::DPP legislator Kuan Bi-ling said that the way the pro-unification party is run was ‘completely consistent with the activities of criminal organizations’

By Tseng Wei-chen and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sun, Oct 01, 2017 - Page 3

The Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP) might be obtaining funds from the Chinese government through Strategic Sports (韜略運動器材), a company based in Dongguan in China’s Guangdong Province, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.

Among its board members, the company lists Chang Wei (張瑋) and Chang Hsun (張珣), sons of CUPP founder and former leader of the Bamboo Union gang Chang An-le (張安樂), Chen said.

Personal and anonymous donations to the party last year accounted for NT$2.34 million and NT$90,000 (US$77,215 and US$2,970) respectively, he said, adding that the party received no membership fees or government subsidies.

“Where did the funds for its operational costs come from?” he said.

Chang An-le, who is also known as the “White Wolf,” has companies in Hong Kong and China under the Taolue (“Strategy”) Group (韜略集團), the logo of which is the CUPP party logo, he said.

Strategic sports is a subsidiary of Taolue Group.

Strategic Sports focuses primarily on manufacturing sports helmets, he said, adding that its market share in that industry is not small.

“It is possible that the party’s proceeds are legitimate profits, but I would not exclude the possibility that the Chinese government is injecting funds into the company,” he said.

The National Security Bureau should look into the source of the CUPP’s funds, he said, adding that if the party has concealed or unregistered income, then the Ministry of the Interior must take action in accordance with the Political Donation Act (政治獻金法).

It is a known “united front” strategy of the Chinese Communist Party to put funds in shell companies in China, which are later transferred to “lackeys” in Taiwan, he said.

DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) has previously said that organizations that engage in criminal activities are structured in a way that allows them to be sustainable and profitable.

Although the CUPP is a political party in Taiwan, Chang Wei and Chang Hsun are board members of Taolue Group and they can use their activities in Taiwan to seek profit in China, which is completely consistent with the activities of criminal organizations, she said.

DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) said that a number of CUPP party members have infiltrated the DPP in the central and southern constituencies, which one southern DPP legislator confirmed yesterday.

The CUPP has been actively involved in religious, economic and social activities there, the legislator said, though they were unsure how deep the infiltration goes.

DPP Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said that Chang An-le had recruited members in Tainan to strengthen his party’s representation.

At times, strange proposals are brought up at the DPP’s party congresses, which could be evidence of infiltration into that party as well, Lin said, adding that it had not affected party operations.

Another legislator brought up the example of former Tainan City Vouncil speaker Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who was convicted of vote-buying.

Lee and Chang An-le formally had business dealings and the two worked closely with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, they said.

Lee was able to buy off Tainan City councilors, which shows that the CUPP has some power to influence politics, they added.