The non-government China Youth Corps (CYC), which services mainly young people, was determined Tuesday to be an affiliated organization with the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).
Lin Feng-cheng, head of the Cabinet-level Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, announced the committee's decision at a press briefing.
He said that with the decision, the assets the corps has accumulated since its founding in 1952, currently valued at NT$5.61 billion (US$183 million), will all be frozen with immediate effect.
Lin said the corps was established under the KMT's guidance, with the late President Chiang Ching-kuo as its first director. "The relations between the CYC and KMT are deeply bound," proven by many historical records, Lin said.
"Judging from the organization's personnel affairs, financial condition and operations, it is affiliated with the KMT," Lin added.
Apart from the freezing of the assets, all CYC business operations, including 15 youth activity centers around Taiwan, will have to declare their properties to the committee within four months.
The obligations are detailed in the Statute on Handling the Inappropriate Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliated Organizations, a law enacted in 2016 after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the presidential and legislative elections that same year.
Under the law, most of the KMT's properties have been frozen pending investigation by the committee. If the assets are determined to be "ill-gotten," they will be transferred to the state or returned to their rightful owners.
According to the committee's probe, the youth corps' assets include NT$970 million in current assets, NT$2.17 billion in funds and other investments, NT$2.41 billion in fixed assets, and NT$60 million in other assets.
The CYC's financial report of 2016 indicates that it controls three major income sources, including the 15 youth activity centers, which generate total operational revenue of NT$680 million per year; 13 civic sports centers with a combined annual revenue of NT$880 million; and 62 registered cram schools with a total revenue of N$1.09 billion a year.
In response, the CYC, which was established as a unit under the Ministry of National Defense's Political Warfare Bureau in 1952, said it was only a government organ until 1969.
From 1970 to 1988 it was a social movement organization, and in 1989, it registered as a non-government organization serving the public interest. "Its operations have never been involved in party affairs," the CYC said.
Under its current organization regulations, if it is disbanded, all its remaining assets will be taken over by "the government" rather than "the KMT," the corps said.
Meanwhile, KMT spokesman Hung Meng-kai denounced the decision to categorize the CYC as KMT-affiliated, describing it as a tool of the ruling DPP to undertake a political purge and "seize private assets by freezing them first."
Hung said there is no affiliation between the CYC and the KMT. (By Lee Shu-hua and Elizabeth Hsu)