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Justice minister under fire for China real estate
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-13 05:50 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay came under fire from ruling and opposition lawmakers Friday for owning real estate in China.

According to the latest asset report about government officials drawn up by the Control Yuan, the minister owned a piece of real estate in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, as well as a fortune reported at more than NT$131 million (US$4.3 million).

The list included a home in Taipei City and four buildings in New Taipei City’s Shulin District, reports said. The minister’s fortune also included savings, stocks and jewelry, but everything had been reported by herself, according to media reports.

At a news conference to respond to criticism, she said the Chinese property was bought by her husband when he worked in the communist country as a high-level manager for Taiwanese electronics giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. There had been no way to put the Chinese assets into trust, Luo said. All the possessions listed by the Control Yuan were the fruit of years of work by her and her husband and were completely legal, the minister said, adding she welcomed any investigation.

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party legislator Kuan Bi-ling questioned whether the minister held the necessary notion that China was still Taiwan’s enemy. “Where your house is, is your home,” she said. Even should there was nothing wrong in conducting exchanges with China, Cabinet members needed to consider that it treated Taiwan as an enemy and therefore it was unsuitable for her to own property there.

DPP lawmaker Lawrence Kao expressed concern that more and more government officials would acquire interests in China, making it more difficult for them to face challenges from that country, even though he acknowledged that owning real estate there might not be illegal.

Even ruling Kuomintang legislator Liao Kuo-tung criticized the minister, saying she should have sold the property before she took office. If a minister has a home in China, it shows she has no faith in Taiwan, he reportedly said. His colleague Tsai Chin-lung agreed it gave a bad impression to the public.

The Control Yuan, the nation’s top government watchdog body, also published an asset report about former National Security Council Secretary-General Jason Yuan Friday, showing he owned two homes in the United States, where he served as Taiwan’s representative before. The houses were valued at a total of US$1.2 million (NT$35.9 million). Savings worth NT$40.92 million (US$1.3 million) and financial instruments worth NT$45.98 million (US$1.5 million) brought his total assets to more than NT$100 million (US$3.3 million), reports said.

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