Wednesday, June 09, 2010

CPPCC resignation is not enough

After Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) told the legislature late last month that five stakeholders at Hong Kong-listed China Strategic Holdings (CSH) were members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China Strategic’s chief executive, Raymond Or (柯清輝), announced that he was resigning his CPPCC membership, saying he was doing so to avoid further delays in a consortium bid for Taiwanese life insurer Nan Shan Life.

The Investment Commission, which has already delayed approval of the bid over various unanswered questions surrounding the structure of the consortium (in which CSH is a leading player) and its funding sources, rightly said that Or’s resignation would have little impact on its decision whether to allow the acquisition to proceed.

A report released in March by Pan’s office showed that three China Strategic shareholders — Chongqing-born Zhang Song-qiao (張松橋), one of the 100 richest people in China; Wu Lianghao and Li Wulin — are also CPPCC members. Further investigation reveals that Hong Kong businesswoman Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah is a major shareholder in the company. Her profile on the Web site of Golden Resorts, where she is chief executive officer, shows that Chu is a member of the National Committee of the CPPCC, a member of the Guangdong committee of the CPPCC and vice chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC (Provincial) Member Association Foundation.

Membership in the CPPCC is both an instrument of co-optation by the CCP and a means to “reward” Chinese and members of minority groups — such as Hong Kongers and Tibetans, for example — for toeing the party line. What this means, therefore, is that members have either willingly submitted to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) line as an external agent or have a proven track record of respecting party ideology prior to being approached for membership.

This op-ed, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.

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