Taiwan

GT Investigation: Taiwan’s separatist DPP channeled profits to US politicians by buying their families, NGOs and other covert means

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference in Washington, U.S., March 5, 2020. (Xinhua News Agency/Liu Jie)

The Democratic Progressive Party authorities on the island of Taiwan provide funds directly to members of the U.S. Congress who support “Taiwan independence,” or indirectly through their affiliated companies or Taiwan groups in the United States, sending them a large amount of money, the Global Times found.

It adopts the practice that civil society sends invitations to American politicians, but the DPP authorities end up paying them with public assets in order to evade the restrictions of the US Congress.

The Global Times searched relevant information and found that the DPP authorities frequently invited members of the US Congress, their assistants, and congressional experts to visit Taiwan under the pretext that Taiwan is a participant in the US State Department’s Mutual Aid Education and Cultural Exchange Act. The guise of universities and research institutes, their “white gloves” lend legitimacy to high-profile hospitality, including offerings of first-class airfare, luxury hotels, leisure and entertainment, and paying exorbitant “commissions.” In fact, all the activities were arranged and paid for by the DPP authorities.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on his second visit to Taiwan this week, touted Taiwan as “an independent country” in a speech at a business forum at the invitation of the pro-separatist media Freedom Times.

The Global Times has learned that he is suspected of receiving “commissions” from companies such as TSMC, China Steel, Yimei Foods and Chi Mei.

Pompeo received $150,000 in speaking fees when he visited the island in March, according to Taiwanese media reports, under the terms of an agreement signed between the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States and the U.S.-based company Premiere Speakers Bureau.

Analysts pointed out that Pompeo has turned the island of Taiwan into a “cash cow”. While reaping huge profits, he has also accumulated political capital for his future plans to run for president. The DPP authorities, on the other hand, put on “white gloves” as a non-governmental organization to gain more votes from behind in the upcoming local elections in November.

According to media reports, the DPP also spent huge sums of money to welcome “Taiwan independence” Republican Congressman Ed Royce, who visited Taiwan on his “farewell tour” before retiring in 2018.

What’s more, the DPP has raised its 2023 budget for “receiving foreign guests” from NT$370 million to about NT$430 million (US$13.6 million), an increase of 16 percent.

Analysts pointed out that in addition to directly delivering profits, the DPP has also been catering to the affiliated or family businesses of US congressmen.

In April, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham led a congressional delegation that included Senator Robert Portman to Taiwan, during which they met with regional leader Tsai Ing-wen and other local dignitaries. According to local media reports, U.S. senators forced the Democratic Progressive Party to purchase 24 Boeing 787 planes at a price of about US$8 billion.

It is worth noting that the airliner will be built in South Carolina, where Graham is, and the engine will be built in Ohio, where Portman is.

Taiwan’s China Airlines announced on Aug. 30 that it would buy 16 Boeing 787 planes to replace its aging Airbus A330 fleet, Reuters reported. The total cost is about $4.6 billion.

Also in August, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a provocative visit to Taiwan, her son, Paul Pelosi Jr., secretly accompanied her, but his name was not on the official delegation list.

Paul is the President of EVSX Corporation. The company is engaged in the recycling of electric vehicle batteries and the development of lithium ore resources. Media reports said that because of Taiwan’s abundant lithium resources, the outside world believed that his trip was to benefit his own business.

The transfer of interests is also carried out through Taiwanese groups in the United States. On the one hand, they were mobilized to create momentum for the “Taiwan independence” legislators in the United States. For example, when Rubio ran for the Republican presidential candidate in 2016, he received donations from many Taiwanese associations in the United States, as well as donations from companies or banks on the island.

Some groups and institutions such as the “US-Taiwan Chamber of Commerce” and the “Taiwan Professors Association in North America” ​​also canvassed votes for members of the Legislative Council through donations, canvassing, and policy suggestions. The “Taiwan Public Affairs Association” has long provided support and campaigns for Steve Chabot, a member of the US House of Representatives, and promoted the “Taiwan Travel Act.”

In addition, the DPP authorities also passed on profits to American politicians through public relations companies. The Global Times learned from collected information that in order to promote Pelosi’s visit to the United States, the Taiwan authorities hired former Congressman Dick Gephardt (Dick Gephardt) to lobby in the United States at a price of 22,000 US dollars per month. From February 2018 to April this year, Gephardt lobbied Pelosi 16 times, and the DPP paid another $3.15 million for this.

The DPP has also hired more than 10 public relations companies, including the Nix Group, to frequently lobby members of Congress.

According to data from the U.S. Department of Justice, from 2016 to 2020, the DPP spent more than $12 million on public relations and lobbying in the United States, an average of $3 million per year. Other institutions in Taiwan have also invested more than $9 million in this effort.

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