Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) has panned former Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森), alleging that an organization Lin now chairs is comprised of pan-blue camp “neo-compradors” intent on undermining President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policy.
Lee said that the Foundation for the Development of the Chinese Nation — an organization registered on May 12 with Chen Wei-ti (陳韋迪) as its chairman — hired many members of former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
The staff include Lin, who replaced Chen as the new group’s chairman; former SEF adviser Chu Ou (朱甌), former SEF vice chairman Chou Ji-shiang (周繼祥) and former minister without portfolio Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇), Lee said, describing the group as “neo-compradors.”
The former officials have been recruited to counter Tsai’s policy toward China, Lee said, adding: “Lin has exploited the ‘revolving door’ loophole in 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) and is running his own foundation to continue his role as a baishoutao [‘white glove,’ or go-between (白手套)].”
The number of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) politicians in the foundation suggests that the group is intended as a countermeasure against the Tsai administration’s cross-strait policies, Lee said.
Lin denied the allegations, calling them “a total misunderstanding” because the foundation is “concerned with the public good, like any ordinary non-profit organization, and does not consider cross-strait issues a part of its main portfolio.”
“There is no way that we are neo-compradors,” he said, adding that while he had in the past said he would not refuse any event promoting a “good” public cause, he is subject to national security laws forbidding any travel to China and had recently turned down an invitation from an association of Taiwanese businessmen in China.
“I am out of office and in retirement. Anyone who is not in any particular office has nothing to do with the administration of its duties,” Lin said, paraphrasing the Analects of Confucius.
According to records from the Ministry of the Interior, the Foundation for the Development of the Chinese Nation’s mission statement is to: “advance the Chinese nation’s development; further the Chinese nation’s rejuvenation; strengthen the Chinese nation’s solidarity; promote the Chinese nation’s spirit; explore the Chinese nation’s roots; bring renown to the Chinese nation’s achievements and elevate the Chinese nation’s talents.”
It has about NT$30 million (US$957,670) in declared assets.
The Mainland Affairs Council said that in terms of law, former SEF members such as Lin are required to submit any plans to travel to China to the interior ministry for evaluation and approval, and that there are additional legal restrictions for attending events involving cross-strait exchanges that they must comply with.
The legislature has also completed the initial review of proposed amendments to Article 4-4 and Article 79-3 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area — which would further restrict former SEF members’ possible maneuvers in relation to cross-strait affairs, the council said, adding that it would defer to lawmakers’ decisions regarding changes.
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