Ni Zichuan (倪子川), a 53-year-old Chinese official with the Political Consultative Taiwanese, Hong Kong and Macao Overseas Chinese Liaison Committee in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, was caught shoplifting from a supermarket near his hotel in Hsinchu on Friday.
Ni was found to have stolen skincare products worth just NT$99 on two separate occasions. The manager of the supermarket said the police were brought in and the suspect was sent to the Hsinchu District Prosecutors’ Office.
Prosecutors, however, felt that the crime was not very serious and Ni was set free. They took into account mitigating circumstances, such as the fact that the accused admitted his crimes and had come to an agreement with the store manager.
Criticizing the authorities, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said yesterday that this was just the latest example of Chinese officials being let off after a brush with the law in Taiwan. The last incident involved a Chinese tourist taking surreptitious photos of a military facility.
Tsai said it was symptomatic of law enforcement’s servile and obsequious attitude when it comes to Chinese breaking the law in Taiwan.
Intelligence services became interested in the case after it was suggested that Ni was the director of a Taiwan affairs office in China, but it was later clarified that his position was at the provincial or metropolitan level.
Further investigations revealed that Ni was director of the office.
The National Immigration Agency said Ni had applied to enter Taiwan as a tourist and had been granted a one-month visa. He did not include information about his occupation on the application.
Maa Shaw-chang (馬紹章), a spokesman for the Straits Exchange Foundation, said the case was currently under investigation and that appropriate measures would be taken.
Ni faced the media on Friday, producing his Chinese ID to prove his identity. He said he had been a public servant for 30 years and had been in his current position as director of the Fengze District local office for more than three years.
Ni said that he had come to Taiwan with a 16-member group, including seven entrepreneurs in the fields of handicrafts and logistics, looking for business opportunities. They arrived on May 3 and were to leave on Tuesday.
Commenting on the case, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang (謝國樑) said he believed prosecutors had acted correctly.
Hsieh said the prosecutors’ decision was in line with the principle of exemption from petty criminal prosecutions enshrined in the Criminal Code.
“If this happened to a Taiwanese citizen, I believe they would also be released. If the Chinese official stole an item valued at more than NT$20,000 he would have been detained, but NT$198 is OK,” Hsieh said.
KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said prosecutors did not compromise the nation’s judicial jurisdiction as “it was the prosecutors’ decision [not to charge him]. It was not determined by the Chinese government.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN,TSENG WEI-CHEN AND SU YUNG-YAO
UNDETERRED: The US chip designer’s plan showed that Taiwan remains attractive for investment by global companies despite cross-strait tensions, Wang Mei-hua said US graphics chip designer Nvidia Corp is planning to relocate its Hong Kong-based logistics center to Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Wednesday. The government had been in discussions with Nvidia regarding tax incentives to facilitate the move since last year, Wang said in an interview with the Central News Agency, adding that the two sides had reached a consensus. Wang did not provide details about the timetable for the move or the planned tax arrangements for Nvidia. The relocation would boost the local economy, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is a major supplier of graphics processing
Kaohsiung police last week busted a money laundering operation suspected of seeking to interfere in tomorrow’s local elections. The operation was allegedly headed by a man surnamed Lee (李), who had received NT$9.5 billion (US$306.18 million) from China over the past six months, Kaohsiung police said yesterday, adding that Lee’s ring is suspected to be part of a larger Chinese effort to interfere in the elections and support pro-China candidates. Officers arrested Lee, 35, and his girlfriend, searched his mansion, and seized the money he had allegedly received from China and three luxury vehicles, police said. The operation was disguised as an online
‘NEWEST’: The company’s Arizona plant is to produce 5-nanometer chips in the initial stage and would later manufacture 3-nanometer chips, Morris Chang said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) yesterday confirmed that the company plans to produce its most advanced 3-nanometer chips in the US as part of the company’s phase 2 plan at its plant in Phoenix, Arizona. The 91-year-old entrepreneur, who has been appointed as Taiwan’s envoy to APEC six times, yesterday morning held a news conference at the Presidential Office Building to discuss his delegation’s accomplishments at this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, which ended on Saturday. He was asked whether TSMC has plans to build advanced chips in the US. “TSMC’s plant in Arizona is
BLUE WAVE: The KMT’s Chiang Wan-an defeated the DPP’s Chen Shih-chung and is to become Taipei mayor, while President Tsai Ing-wen stepped down as DPP chairperson after many of the party’s candidates, handpicked by the leadership, performed poorly The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday flipped key mayoral seats in Taipei, Taoyuan and Keelung, and won control of 13 out of 22 cities and counties in the nine-in-one local elections. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) last night resigned as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson over a poor showing by the party’s candidates, who were handpicked by the DPP leadership rather than chosen through primaries. The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) won its first high-profile race with Hsinchu mayoral candidate Ann Kao (高虹安) defeating Shen Hui-hung (沈慧虹) of the DPP with 45.02 percent of the vote to Shen’s 35.68 percent. Voters were choosing more than