Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, should clarify when he became aware of KMT Deputy Secretary-General Alex Tsai’s (蔡正元) alleged offer to self-professed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強), President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) re-election campaign office said yesterday.
Australian newspaper The Age yesterday reported that Australian police briefed Taiwanese investigators on a suspected plot to bribe and coerce Wang to claim that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) paid him to fabricate his claims.
Chinese businessman Sun Tianqun (孫天群) asked Alex Tsai to text the KMT’s commitment to protect Wang, the newspaper reported, showing purported messages between Sun and Alex Tsai.
Alex Tsai promised that if Wang followed his directives, Wang’s wanted status in China would be lifted and Beijing would stop interfering with his attempts to seek residency outside China, The Age said.
Furthermore, he promised that Taiwanese businesspeople would pay Wang’s debts in China, while Beijing would downgrade his legal liability, and allow him free entrance and departure from his native country, the newspaper said.
At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said that Alex Tsai’s messages with Sun included instructions that Wang record a video recanting his claims that he was a Chinese spy and for the KMT to arrange Taiwanese residency for him.
A photograph of Alex Tsai with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) was sent to Wang to indicate that he had close ties with the Chinese Communist Party, Kuan said.
Office spokesman Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) called on the KMT to clarify its role in the situation and what agreement it had reached with China.
Separately yesterday, Alex Tsai said in a radio interview that the messages in the report had been modified.
The promises were proposed by Wang and he was just passing them on to Sun, Alex Tsai said, adding that his conversation with Sun had been removed.
However, it seems that Wang just wants the money and has no intention of clarifying the matter, Alex Tsai said.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Cheng Mei-hua (程美華) said the party believes that screen grabs of Alex Tsai’s text messages have been altered.
The agreements were made between Sun and Wang, while Alex Tsai just wanted Wang to explain the situation, Cheng said.