Five Taiwanese businesspeople working in China were yesterday found guilty of taking money from Chinese authorities to buy votes for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the 2020 presidential election.
The Taipei District Court sentenced Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises (台灣同胞投資企業協會) Changsha City Branch chairman Lin Huai (林懷) to three years and 10 months in jail, with deprivation of his civil rights for four years.
The other four convicted in the case, who all received 20-month prison terms, were China New Family Association (中華兩岸新家庭協會) chairwoman Chiang Ming-sia (蔣明霞), Hunan Shaoyang City Association in Taiwan (湖南邵陽旅台同鄉會) director Chang Kuo-chun (張國君), Hengyang-based businessman Chuang Huan-chang (莊桓漳) and Chinese Women’s Federation (中華婦女聯合會) deputy secretary Shen Bin (沈斌), who had conducted business in Hunan.
A Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office investigation found that money to fund the vote-buying scheme came from Huang Daonian (黃道年), director of the Economic Bureau at Changsha’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO).
With funding from Huang, Lin and the other defendants organized gatherings and banquets to convince Taiwanese in Hunan to support the KMT and Han’s presidential campaign in late 2019, including offering to pay their airfares, the investigation found.
The Changsha City Government and the local TAO allocated 3.5 million yuan (US$551,268 at the current exchange rate) to support subsidies for Taiwanese to return home to vote, with Lin applying for and receiving about 1.49 million yuan, the investigation found.
Huang allegedly told his staff to assist Lin and other Taiwanese businesspeople in applying for funds and obtaining registered lists of Taiwanese living in Hunan, prosecutors said.
In their largest election event, the defendants on Dec. 21, 2019, organized a year-end banquet for Taiwanese at Changsha’s Huatian Hotel, where they instructed attendees to buy tickets to fly home to vote for Han and other KMT candidates on Jan. 11, 2020, and showed them how to obtain 1,500 yuan to pay for the cost of the airfares, the investigation showed.
Documents showed that 467 Taiwanese who attended the event applied for the money, prosecutors said.
Lin and the defendants gave “bribes” in exchange for votes for specific candidates and breached the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法), the ruling said.
Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises in Changsha City deputy chairman Tung Chien-hua (佟建華) and Taipei-based Chinese Women’s Federation chairwoman Ho Jianghua (何建華) were indicted with the others in May last year, but were found not guilty due to insufficient evidence.
After learning of the sentences, Han’s office yesterday said that he was unaware of the events and that his election campaign headquarters did not receive any funds from those involved.
Additional reporting by Jason Pan and CNA
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
PARTIAL SUPPORT: Morris Chang said he agrees with the US’ goal to slow advances of China’s chip sector, but US policies that might boost chip prices perplex him Washington’s efforts to on-shore semiconductor production might lead to surges in chip prices and supply bottlenecks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday. The 91-year-old industry veteran said he supports parts of Washington’s effort to slow China’s progress on advanced chip manufacturing. China is still six years behind Taiwan in making advanced chips, despite years-long efforts to catch up, Chang told a Commonwealth Magazine forum that he coheadlined with Tufts University assistant professor Chris Miller, an expert on the US-China rivalry’s effects on chip manufacturing. However, Chang said that other parts of the effort, particularly Washington’s on-shoring
‘WRONG DECISION’: Honduras should carefully consider the situation, and not fall into China’s trap and jeopardize the bilateral friendship, the foreign ministry said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it had expressed “grave concern” to the government of Honduras after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that it would pursue official diplomatic relations with China. In addition to issuing a statement, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) summoned Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos to the ministry in Taipei early yesterday to voice the government’s concerns. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and Burgos did not make any public comments upon arriving at the ministry. Burgos said shortly after noon that he had not yet heard from his country’s
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt