Taiwanese prosecutors indicted six members of the Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP), a pro-Beijing organization, including its president, for accepting undeclared funds from China among other violations.
Taipei’s District Prosecutors charged Chang An-le, the president of CUPP, and five other CUPP members on Aug. 13 with violating the Political Donations Act and Banking Law, document forgery, business encroachment, and tax evasion.
An investigation into Chang on suspicion of involvement in organized crime in Taiwan is still underway.
Causing Disturbances in the Name of ‘Unifying China’
Shortly after the magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook Taiwan’s Hualien Province in February 2018, members of the CUPP distributed quake relief funds to victims. According to the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office, the funding for the quake relief is believed to have come from the Chinese regime.
In addition, Chang and his associates frequently caused violent disturbances in Taiwanese society in the name of “unifying China,” which included waving communist Chinese flags. Investigators searched CUPP’s offices on Aug. 7, 2018, and confiscated Chang’s mobile phone. Chang is currently under surveillance.
Undeclared Donations From China
According to prosecutors, after CUPP was founded in 2006, Chang, along with former CUPP Chairman Lee Hsin-yi, and another party worker, allegedly received personal donations totaling NT$2,097,900 ($67,800). But they failed to set up a special bank account for political donations, which constitutes a violation of the Political Donation Act, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported on Aug. 13.
In addition, Chang’s son, Chang Wei, has been charged with document forgery and violating the Company Act and the Business Entity Accounting Act for declaring borrowed money as his company’s income when he established a travel agency in November 2010, the prosecutors said.
Chang, his son and daughter-in-law were also indicted for misappropriating NT$13.9 million ($440,000) from the travel agency between March 2014 and June 2016. In addition, Chang Wei was involved in tax evasion by manipulating the company’s accounting records.
In addition to other violations, Chang instructed his son to rent 10 vehicles in the name of the travel agency for the CUPP’s use.
Chang Wei and his wife are also accused of illegally engaging in a currency exchange business between New Taiwan Dollars and Chinese yuan, violating Taiwan’s Banking Law.
Beijing’s Ways of Expanding Influence in Taiwan
A documentary aired by Al-Jazeera in 2018 revealed that the Chinese communist regime injects money into the Chinese Patriot Alliance Association and CUPP, two Taiwanese pro-Beijing organizations, to expand its influence in Taiwan.
A June 26 Reuters report also sheds light on the two main methods these pro-Beijing groups use in Taiwan to promote unification with China. One is to lure Taiwanese businessmen by using business opportunities in the Chinese market in exchange for their support of Beijing’s agenda. The other is to take full advantage of Taiwan’s freedom of speech and assembly to organize seminars and rallies “to build sympathy and support for the mainland.”
Beijing considers Taiwan as a renegade province that must be united with the mainland one day, with military force if necessary. However, Taiwan is a de-facto independent country with its own elected officials, constitution, military, and currency.
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Author: Olivia Li