Tai­wan moves to probe party as­sets

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TAI­WAN is to launch an of­fi­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ill-got­ten as­sets of po­lit­i­cal par­ties, in a move blasted by the op­po­si­tion Kuom­intang (KMT) as per­se­cu­tion.

The move comes af­ter Bei­jings­cep­tic Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing-wen took power in May, mark­ing the end of an eight-year rapprochement with China un­der the pre­vi­ous KMT govern­ment.

Since then, re­la­tions with Bei­jing have be­come in­creas­ingly frosty and the new in­ves­ti­ga­tion is likely to deepen di­vi­sions be­tween Tai­wan’s main par­ties.

Ms Tsai re­peat­edly chal­lenged the le­git­i­macy of the KMT’s as­sets in her pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and ac­cused it of try­ing to dis­pose of them be­fore pres­i­den­tial and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in Jan­uary.

Al­though the bill passed by par­lia­ment on July 25 au­tho­rises the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and seizure of ill-got­ten as­sets from all par­ties, it is only the KMT which has faced ques­tions about its trove.

Con­sid­ered one of the rich­est par­ties in the world, the KMT reg­is­tered to­tal as­sets of T$18.96 bil­lion (US$592.5 mil­lion) by the end of last year, com­pared with T$478.72 mil­lion by Ms Tsai’s Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP).

The KMT, which fled to Tai­wan in 1949 af­ter los­ing a civil war to the Chi­nese com­mu­nists on the main­land, traces its wealth to its ori­gins in pre­com­mu­nist China.

It also in­her­ited as­sets na­tion­alised by the Ja­panese, who ruled Tai­wan as a colony from 1895 to1945. –

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