Family business connections in the Pingtan free-trade zone and a son’s involvement with the CPPCC are raising questions about possible CCP influence in a legislative candidate’s election bid in Chiayi County.
Questions about possible Chinese interference in Taiwan’s 2020 elections have been surrounding Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶), a former legislator from the Democratic Progressive Party who is running as an independent in the legislative elections in Chiayi County.
Lin, who recently said that “nobody loves Taiwan more than Xi Jinping,” has come under scrutiny after it was revealed that his son, Lin Chih-yuan (林智遠), is involved with the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, 中國人民政治協商會議), one of the key coordinating bodies for China’s United Front work and political warfare.
The young Lin was once highly praised by the Fujian Provincial Party Committee and the provincial government as a model worker in Fujian Province, where he operates a business in the Pingtan free-trade zone promoting tourism and the creative industry. He has also served as the deputy general manager of the Pingtan Free Trade Zone Cross-Strait Development Co (平潭自貿區兩岸發展公司). He has also actively promoted Taiwanese youth entrepreneurship in China.
A veteran politician, Lin Kuo-ching says he has focused his efforts in recent years on economic and social issues, adding that one of his motivations for running is the “economic collapse” in Taiwan.
Lin Jr. is expected to return to Taiwan from China to campaign for his father.
Following the revelations about his son’s possible role within the CPPCC, Lin stated that the revelations were a “smear campaign,” adding that Lin Chih-yuan was not employed by the CPPCC but was rather an “unpaid adviser,” a position that “many Taiwanese businesspeople in China have taken.” The young Lin is said to have resigned from his position as a Pingtan CPPCC member.
The Lin family’s business connections with China are also extensive. Lin’s wife Lin Hsiu-mei (林秀美), has established Pingtan Yongshun International Trade Co., Ltd (湧樟國際貿易有限公司), while Lin Chih-yuan has set up Sui Industrial Co., Ltd (穗實業有限公司), also in Pingtan. His daughter, meanwhile, heads Aibo Co., Ltd., (愛玩客有限公司), also in Pingtan, and his daughter-in-law is also said to have business interests in China.
The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has expressed interest in forming an alliance with Lin in the elections in Chiayi.
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