Taiwan Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) yesterday confirmed that Investigation Bureau officials on Sunday detained two executives of a Chinese company on suspicion of trying to influence elections.
China Innovation Investment Ltd (中國創新投資) executive director Xiang Xin (向心) and his wife, acting director Kung Ching (龔青), were detained as they were preparing to board a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, police said.
They were still in custody yesterday and local Chinese-language media reported that they were transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office last night, but the office denied that any such transfer had taken place and said it has not opened a file on the executives.
Self-confessed Chinese spy William Wang Liqiang (王立強) on Saturday told Australian media that the firm was a shell company “whose founding mission was to infiltrate Hong Kong, but was later tasked with influencing elections in Taiwan.”
Wang told the Sydney Morning Herald that he had been hired by the company to help the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secure victories over the Democratic Progressive Party in last year’s local elections.
An investigation conducted in the wake of Wang’s statement found that Xiang and Kung were in Taiwan and were planning to leave on Sunday, the bureau said.
The two have denied the accusations, officials said.
The National Immigration Agency and the prosecutors’ office were discussing whether to bar the two from re-entering Taiwan or whether other actions should be taken, officials said.
The bureau said it would not provide further details on the probe, as the pair’s questioning pertains to national security.
The company, which on its Web site says it invests in energy products, also denied any links to Wang.
“Wang Liqiang was never an employee of the group,” it said.
Additional reporting by AFP
By Huang Chieh and William Hetherington