The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said it has discovered gold bonds issued by the Republic of China (ROC) government in 1947 worth nearly NT$38.5 billion (US$1.258 billion), touting the find as proof of the party’s contributions to the nation.
KMT Administration and Management Committee director Chiu Da-chan (邱大展) said the large batch of gold bonds, found during the KMT’s recent inspection of its assets, are still in good condition.
“These gold bonds had been recorded multiple times in the party’s documents and were transported to Taiwan during the [Chinese Civil] war, before being stored in 68 boxes and placed in the trust of CTBC Bank Co (中國信託銀行),” Chiu told a news conference in Taipei.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
The bonds remain in the bank, as the KMT’s request last year to retrieve them was denied, he said.
The bonds’ unclaimed principal and interest total approximately US$36.4 million, which, based on the US’ fixed gold standard of US$35 per ounce, can be converted to about 32,319kg of gold.
“With gold on Friday last week valued at NT$1,188 per gram, the bonds are worth nearly NT$38.5 billion,” Chiu said, adding that the bonds were listed as KMT property when it was registered as a corporate entity in February 1989.
Chiu said the fact that 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) promulgated by the KMT in 1992 forbids repayment of the short-term gold bonds, which were issued in China in 1949, showed that the KMT is not out to serve its own interests.
The KMT purchased the bonds to help rebuild the economy, Chiu said.
The reason it never redeemed them was because the party regarded salvaging the nation’s economy as its priority, he said.
Urging the Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to acknowledge the KMT’s dedication to the ROC, Chiu said the party would report the gold bonds to the committee soon and hoped a fair investigation would be conducted.
Assets committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said that the committee would process the bonds once the KMT reports them.
Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said that as the bonds were issued by the KMT regime in China before the promulgation of the ROC Constitution in 1947, they do not concern Taiwanese, nor the committee’s ongoing effort to probe the KMT’s ill-gotten assets.
However, the discovery raised questions as to how the bonds had remained hidden from past investigations and whether there are more assets like them, Lin said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said on Facebook the act stipulates that both “outstanding foreign-currency bonds issued in the mainland [China] prior to 1949 and the short-term Gold Bonds of 1949” and “various debts owed by any government bank, as well as any other financial institution accepting deposits before [the KMT’s] retreat from the mainland ... shall not be repaid prior to national unification.”
“Now I know why the KMT has been obsessed with the idea of unification, despite its dismal popularity; it is all for the money, as the bonds cannot be cashed as long as the nation is not unified,” Lin Chun-hsien wrote.
“It would be an otherworldly miracle if they could be repaid,” he added.
Additional reporting by Alison Hsiao and CNA
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