The Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee is on Friday expected to order public hearings to investigate whether the China Youth Corps (CYC) is an affiliate organization under the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) de facto control.
The assets committee has said that the CYC — known as the China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps until 2000 — was under direct control of the KMT.
The public hearings are to determine whether the KMT continues to exercise de facto and direct control over the corps’ personal management and financial operations, a determination that could lead to the confiscation of any or all of the organization’s illegally-obtained assets, committee members said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The corps’ legal status has changed three times since its founding on Oct. 31, 1952, the committee said.
The CYC first operated as a subordinate organization of the Ministry of National Defense’s General Political Warfare Department, the predecessor to today’s Bureau of Political Warfare. In December 1962, the CYC was removed from government control. In October 1990, it was registered as a private foundation, the committee said.
In each of these periods, the corps was irrevocably tied to Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), then his son and successor former president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and then to the modern-day KMT, committee members said.
KMT Central Reform Committee records show that the then-KMT government, at the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, began to aggressively promote its youth organizations following its retreat from China to Taiwan, the committee said.
The establishment of a KMT women’s organization and a youth organization was proposed by then-KMT director-general Chiang Kai-shek, KMT Central Reform Committee documents said.
In the CYC’s Articles of Implementation written at the time, it was stated: “The China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps is a satellite organization of the youth movement led by the KMT,” the committee said.
Two years after the founding of the organization, the KMT Central Standing Committee — the KMT’s highest internal representative body — passed a resolution to establish the Young Intelligentsia’ Party Chapter within the CYC, committee members said.
The KMT’s youth organization that existed prior to the CYC’s founding — the China Youth Anti-Communist and Anti-Soviet Resistance Alliance — was absorbed by the CYC, the committee said.
Following Chiang Ching-kuo’s recommendation, made in May 1958, the Executive Yuan in November 1969 sent a document authorizing the Ministry of National Defense to terminate its relationship with the corps, and to move the organization under the “supervision” of the Executive Yuan, the committee said.
In July 1989, the corps applied to the Ministry of the Interior to be registered as a private foundation, which was granted in October 1990. The organization was renamed the corps at this time, committee members said.
“From the records, it is clear that the CYC was irrevocably tied to the KMT and its funds came from the government’s coffers. However, not only did it not return those assets to the government after its registration as a private foundation, it has since then accumulated more than NT$5.3 billion [US$172.1 million] in assets,” said an asset committee member who asked not to be named.
While the organization has repeatedly asserted its independence from the KMT, the party’s records showed that its then-chairman Chiang Ching-kuo on multiple occasions stated that the party must maintain its control over CYC personnel appointments, after it officially separated from the party.
The defense ministry allocated public funds to the KMT’s coffers to subsidize the CYC when it was subordinated to the defense ministry, and from 1952 to 1969, KMT Central Standing Committee records show.
During that time, the defense ministry rationalized the use of public funds by listing them as “subsidies for work performed on behalf of the government by another entity” and “missions performed behind enemy lines” in China, which the KMT ostensibly performed through the corps, records showed.
Those funds from public coffers were transferred from the government to the KMT Central Standing Committee, which then “received and transferred” moneys to the corps, the records said.
The KMT Central Standing Committee also transferred funds to the National Women’s League, the Hua Hsin Children’s Home and other alleged KMT affiliates by the same method, even though those organizations have strenuously denied that they were KMT affiliates, records showed.
In addition, the then-KMT government continued to set aside public funds for the corps well after the organization was severed from the defense ministry in 1969, the committee said.
The corps in 1970 applied to the Taiwan Provincial Government for a loan to build accommodation at its Cheng Ching Lake Youth Activity Center. The provincial government included the loan in its budget for the 1971 fiscal year and made the loan without an obligation for repayment.
Records suggest that the KMT also maintained direct control over corps personnel appointments, committee members said.
According to Jeanne Li’s (李鍾桂) biography, she was named president of the corps by Chiang Ching-kuo in 1987, more than two decades after the organization was removed from the defense ministry’s authority.
The biography quoted Chiang Ching-kuo as saying to Li on March 8, 1987: “I want you to be the president of the China Youths Corps.”
At the time, Li was the deputy director of the headquarters of the KMT Young Party Workers’ Association and the chief executive officer of the Pacific Cultural Foundation.
The corps was no longer a governmental entity and Chiang Ching-kuo could not appoint the organization’s personnel, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) said, adding that Chiang Ching-kuo must have used his authority as KMT chairman to interfere.
“With complete control of the CYC’s finances, there is no doubt that it was an affiliate organization of the KMT,” Tsai said.
The 21 people serving on the CYC’s Board of Directors for Corps Operations, which controls its finances, has remained virtually unchanged, asset committee members said, adding that the committee would investigate their management of the organization’s assets.
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