Of all the land that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) acquired following its retreat to Taiwan in 1949, 85 percent was transferred to the party free of charge, while 11 percent was via transactions, the Cabinet’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee said on Tuesday.
Of the 11 percent, 68 percent was sold to the party at the price it demanded, with no market competition involved, committee statistics showed.
Seventy percent of the transactions involving that 68 percent took place after the KMT had occupied, borrowed or rented the land, the statistics showed.
Photo courtesy of the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee
A total of 74 hectares of public land was transferred to the party free of charge, including the Tainan-based Jin Zi Farm (金子農場) and Dr Sun Yat-sen Park (逸仙公園) in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District (中正), the statistics showed.
The land sold to the party totaled about 9.5 hectares, of which 6.5 hectares were sold after it requested or demanded a transaction, they showed.
“Occupy, borrow or rent before making a purchase,” the committee said, referring to the seemingly standard practice followed by the KMT when it acquired state-owned land following its retreat to Taiwan after losing the Chinese Civil War to the Chinese Communist Party.
Many such purchases by the KMT were illegal, the committee said, citing as an example the Housheng Building (厚生大樓) in Taipei.
The building used to house the party’s Department of Productive Enterprise. The plot of land it was built on was originally owned by the Japanese, before being registered as a state-owned property in 1950, and being transferred to state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) in 1958, it said.
In March, 1970, the department allegedly wrote a letter to Taipower, stating that it needed to rent the plot, or purchase it for NT$2.38 million (US$80,662 at the current exchange rate), as it wanted to construct a building on it, the committee said.
Taipower agreed to rent it to the KMT, but just more than a month into the lease, the department sent another letter, demanding that Taipower sell the plot at the price stated in the first letter, it said.
The laws at the time stated that public agencies or enterprises must launch a public bid before buying real estate, meaning that selling a property directly to the KMT would have contravened regulations, the committee said, adding that the transaction between the KMT and Taipower was reported to the Executive Yuan.
Inter-ministerial meetings held as ordered by the Executive Yuan concluded that the transaction should be legitimate, as Taipower had rented the property to the department prior to the sale, suggesting that the company had no need of it, the committee said.
The Executive Yuan eventually approved the sale, it added.
The KMT’s community service center in Changhua County’s Jhutang Township (竹塘) is another similar case, said a committee member, who declined to be named.
The township office purchased the plot from a private owner in 1971, and let the service center use it as a dormitory compound for years without charging it any fees, before eventually selling the land to the KMT in 1987, the member said.
The office in 1983 purchased another a plot of private land next to a nearby police station and let the KMT build an office there free of charge, the member said.
The plot housing the office was designated a “residential area” in 1988 for unknown reasons, before being sold to the KMT the following year, they said.
The plot is now registered under Yuhua Co, a firm affiliated with the KMT, they added.
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