The balance of a relief fund established in 1961 by Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) to tackle hunger in China would be confiscated as national property, the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said on Sunday.
By the time the fund was closed in 2002, it had amassed NT$34.25 million (US$1.14 million at the current exchange rate) from domestic donations and US$750,000 from foreign donations, the committee said.
The money was put into an account at the central bank held by the Chinese Association for Relief and Ensuing Services, but the domestic donations were in 2004 transferred to an account at Land Bank of Taiwan, it said.
The committee said that it has asked the association to return the money to the central government.
“Today China is in a state of disaster... I hope that everyone can donate foodstuffs and give NT$1 each, so that through everyone’s great effort we can save our dying compatriots in the mainland,” the committee quoted Chiang as saying in a January 1961 speech.
Officials told a legislative session the following month that they would look into ways for each government department to assist fundraising efforts, the committee said.
In 1962, Chiang ordered that the account opened by the association should not be touched until NT$10 million was gathered, and that the funds should be left until it was determined that China was in a state of emergency, it said.
The association contravened this stipulation when it moved the funds to Land Bank of Taiwan and when the foreign donations, totaling NT$20.46 million, were transferred two years later, it added.
The association was entrusted by the government to collect the donations, but it did not have any rights to the funds, the committee said.
The committee said that it is to hold a hearing today to address the questions of whether the association was affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and whether its NT$1.37 billion in assets were inappropriately acquired.
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