The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said that its initial investigation found that the plots of land housing multiple Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) service centers across the nation were illegally acquired during the Martial Law era.
The party resold many plots of land and service centers to party-affiliated businesses in 2008, said the committee, which is responsible for the investigation and return of ill-gotten party assets obtained during the Martial Law era from 1949 to 1987.
During this period, thousands of critics and political dissidents that the then-KMT regime perceived as threats to its one-party rule were suppressed, imprisoned or murdered.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
The KMT in 1987 purchased the land on which it built the KMT Nuannuan Service Center from the Keelung City Government, the committee said.
The law states that the land, which was part of an urban development project at the time, should have been sold via public bidding or allocated for public use, it said.
However, the city government sold it to the KMT, which used it for its own ends, and even resold it in 2008 to Kuang-Hwa Investment Holding Co, a KMT-affiliated company, it said.
The KMT Gaoshu Service Center in Pingtung County’s Gaoshu Township (高樹) was built in the 1950s on a piece of township-owned land that the KMT had “occupied,” it said.
In February 1983, the KMT “demanded” that the Gaoshu Township Office sell the land, or give it to the party for free as it “needs” the land, it said.
Although the Pingtung County Government had warned the office that selling the land would be illegal, the office sold it to the KMT below the declared land value, it said.
The KMT in 2008 resold the land and property to Kuang-Hwa Investment, it added.
The land housing the KMT’s service center in Yunlin County’s Dongshi Township (東勢) was also purchased in 1981 after having been “occupied” first, it said.
Although there was no legal basis to support the way the KMT “purchased” the plot, the Executive Yuan in 1983 approved “special projects” that authorized the transaction, it said, adding that “anything could be bought as long as the KMT wanted it.”
The land was resold in 2008 to Yu-Tai Development, another KMT-affiliated firm, it added.
In related news, KMT-affiliated Institute of Revolutionary Practice director Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) recently said that the party had the priority to “legally acquire” party assets during the Martial Law period, considering the party-state system implemented in Taiwan at the time.
It is just difficult for public opinion to find such a thing “emotionally acceptable,” Lo added.
Committee spokesman Sun Pin (孫斌) rebutted his statement, saying that assets that a totalitarian regime acquires from the nation will always be illegal.
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