China Youth Corps fights hearing on KMT ties

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A public hearing set to deliberate The China Youth Corps’ (救國團) alleged affiliation with the Kuomintang (KMT) was condemned by the organization on Thursday as a “breach of legal procedure.” The organization’s lawyer Liu Chang-ping (劉昌坪) argued on Wednesday that the organization was given too little time to prepare a rebuttal. “(We were given) so little (time) that it is unprecedented in the history of legal proceedings,” Liu said. On Feb. 16, the corps received a preliminary investigation report conducted by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee in regards to the organization’s assets and relations with the KMT, and was only given access to confidential documents held by the Committee on Feb. 18, Liu said. The committee then asked the China Youth Corps to pronounce its statement of opinion by Feb. 20, Liu said, allowing a mere three days to produce the written statement. Furthermore, the organization accused the Interior Ministry of not providing relevant documents as requested by the committee. If the committee insisted on proceeding with this hearing with essential documents still not in place, “then the purpose of this (hearing) this hearing has little to do with seeking the truth,” Liu said. Deputy Director of the China Youth Corps’s Research and Development Division Cheng Fei-wen (鄭斐文) said on Wednesday that the organization had long been educational and committed to public service. “The KMT has no interference in any kind of the organization’s affairs. No profits have been claimed by the party, or any individual of it,” Cheng said. China Youth Corps Calls for Support The organization called on the public to show solidarity with them and their cause by changing their Facebook profile photo to an image that read, “I support the CYC.” It was the second campaign launched by the organization in three months to garner public support. Last December, shortly after the Party Assets Committee began a probe into the organization, the corps launched an online petition. In the petition, the organization advocated its service to students, teenagers, and the vulnerable groups in the past, while emphasizing that it “never caused harm to a single person.” According to the organization on Thursday, more than 73,000 supporters have responded to the petition. The China Youth Corps was established in 1952 as a quasi-governmental organization with close ties to the Kuomintang regime. It became a non-governmental organization in 1989 in a move seen as severing ties with the KMT.

However, to many Taiwanese, especially in younger generations, its senior management is seen as being close to the KMT and its existence demonstrates the party’s dictatorial rule during the period of martial law. The organization’s full name was previously the China Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps. “Anti-Communist” was dropped from the title in 2000.