DPP, KMT blame each other as Chinese spy scandal snowballs

Kuomintang (KMT) Deputy Secretary Alex Tsai (蔡正元) sits for a press conference in Taipei on Thursday. (Courtesy of KMT)
Kuomintang (KMT) Deputy Secretary Alex Tsai (蔡正元) sits for a press conference in Taipei on Thursday. (Courtesy of KMT)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Following Kuomintang (KMT) senior official Alex Tsai’s (蔡正元) press conference during which he refuted accusations of bribery and menace in the case of the Chinese spy Wang Liqiang (王立強), the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) demanded clarification, calling his actions an “international scandal”.

DPP election campaign spokesperson Chien Hsu-pei (簡舒培) held up a print of a screen-grab that showed text exchanges between Tsai and another key player in the scandal: Chinese businessman Sun Tien-chun (孫天群). The screen-grab was published by Australian media The Age in its investigation.

The ruling party called Tsai’s responses in the earlier press conference deflecting, demanding that he clarify head-on.

Lingering on the issue of Chinese meddling, the DPP issued a press release that read “If the Australian media report is true, it shows that these people, and potentially others behind them, are attempting to create fake news and influence the election.”

KMT pushed back on DPP’s demands shortly, saying that Tsai had provided strong evidence, including a video and an audiotape, at the KMT press conference in the morning.

The videotape showed Tsai video-calling a man that appeared to be Wang. In the background, there was the sound of children playing. Wang didn’t appear to be intimidated by the KMT official in the video.

The audiotape was a 14-mins long phone interview between two men who identified themselves as Sun and Alex Joske (周安瀾), The Age journalist whose team broke the story last year.

When asked, Tsai didn’t elaborate on the text exchange with Sun as shown in the screen-grab.

The main opposition party said in a press release that it has explained clearly the communications between Tsai and other players in question and that voters will “see for themselves who’s telling the truth”.

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