The Taiwan High Court today called on mainland democracy fighter Wang Dan and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Huang Zhifang to testify in the corruption trial of former President Chen Shuibian. In the hearing, Wang Dan frankly stated that he had received $400,000 financial support from Chen Shuibian.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Wang Dan Refutes Media Report on Taiwan Funding
Wang Dan, who is currently teaching in Taiwan, is once again involved in a controversy of having received money from Taiwan government. This time the news came from the Central News Agency and carried in the newspaper China Times, both respectable media outlets in the island. The news report says:
The report further explains: "according to sources, Wang Dan stated in court that he twice received donation from Chen Shuibian, each in $200,000, for a total of $400,000.
Within hours of the news release, Wang Dan issued a statement to rebuke the report, claiming that the report's "essential content is absolutely not factual." He pointed out that the court trial was a secret proceeding without media presence. The Central News Agency had not interviewed or confirmed with him before releasing "such a ridiculous report." He voiced a strong protest.
Although Wang Dan also indicated that, because the trial involves Taiwan government secrets, he will not provide any further explanation or response on the matter, he nevertheless provided more information today through his Facebook page. He explained that a more detailed account of his side of the story will be published in the Apple Daily on Monday.
Wang Dan stated that the money he had received before originated from Taiwan government, not Chen Shuibian's personal donation. He said, "As an oversea democracy force, we welcome all political donations that are from proper sources and not imposing political conditions." Secondly, he again stated that the amount he had received had "a very big discrepancy" with that reported by the Central News Agency. But because he has to abide the secrecy order from the court, he could not disclose the real amount. In his discussion with his Facebook followers, he repeated assured them that all the donations "have been used for efforts in pushing for democracy. All accounts are very clear." However, because some of the money had been spent for people in mainland China, he could not disclose any account due to concerns of their safety.
Chen Shuibian was the first non-Nationalist president elected by the people of Taiwan. During his presidency, he had established special account to supply government money to support mainland activists exile overseas. Because the means of money transfer was often murky, he ran into serious trouble in not being able to account for the funds. After his term, he was formally charged for corruption. He called Wang Dan to the trial in an effort to clear his name.
On the other hand, the oversea exile community is also immersed in its own financial troubles. Pretty much every significant organization had experienced serious corruption and embezzlement charges of their leaders. The investigation of such scandals are often fruitless since the leaders claim their money were spent in secret support of mainland underground.
Both Wang Dan and Wang Juntao had gone exile during the time when Chen Shuibian was the President at Taiwan. In the last few years, there had been consistent rumor that the Taiwan government had a special "Two-Wang" fund supporting them. Just last year, the long-running dissident magazine China Spring, for which Wang Dan was the Chairman, ceased its printing operation for a lack of funds. At the time, Wang Dan revealed that financial support for the magazine had stopped as soon as Ma Yingjiu succeeded Chen Shuibian as the President at Taiwan.