China foreign ministry spokeswoman reappears after U.S. dollar accusations

Online rumors had alleged US$5 million had been found at Hua's home

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Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) reappeared Thursday following allegations that she had been caught hiding US$5 million (NT$146 million) at home.

The last time Hua chaired one of the ministry’s regular news conferences had been on February 1, with her long absence fueling online rumors about her whereabouts, the Central News Agency reported.

After the Lunar New Year holiday, the rumors suggested that a search of her home by the authorities had turned up US$5 million as well as documents indicating she planned to move to the United States and buy property there.

The reports also said that police had already referred her to prosecutors. The foreign ministry first said it had not heard about the reports, and at the regular news conference Wednesday, spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) rejected the rumors and said Hua would “soon” put in an appearance.

On Thursday at 3 p.m., she walked into the room on the ministry’s third floor to host a news conference, much to the surprise of many foreign reporters there, CNA reported.

Asked about the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act by the U.S. Senate, she took the line that it was a violation of the “One China Principle” and said China had already told Washington of its “strong displeasure” and “resolute opposition” to the measure.

The act, which will allow high-level government contacts between Taiwan and the U.S. for the first time since 1979, still has to be signed by President Donald Trump.