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Presidential critic purchases major broadcasting station

In a controversial deal, pundit Jaw Shaw-kang buys the Broadcasting Corporation of China

Presidential critic purchases major broadcasting station

Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康), former owner of the UFO Radio Station, has bought the Broadcasting Corporation of China, previously run by the opposition Kuomintang, party officials confirmed yesterday.
Jaw, who quit as UFO chairman eight months ago, concluded the deal on Friday with the KMT-owned Central Investment Holding Company
This is the second attempt in a year by the KMT to sell the station since it announced that it was selling three media assets, acquired during its half-century rule of Taiwan, to a subsidiary of the China Times group on December 26 last year.
The BCC was one of the three companies the KMT put up for sale, along with the China Television Company and Central Motion Picture Corporation.
The KMT did not explain the details of the sale to Jaw, but according to the Chinese-language Liberty Times the first deal fell through as the original buyer failed to make the payments as agreed in a contract with the KMT last year.
Jaw said that he has bought only the radio station and relevant facilities - not the lands that are part of the property.
Skirting the KMT asset issue
Jaw's decision to purchase only the radio station means he would avoid some of the problems associated with the issue of the KMT's assets, which members of the incumbent Democratic Progressive Party government claim were acquired by illegal means during the party's rule from 1949 to 2000.
Jaw said he decided not to buy the lands because "my only interest is in the media." According to Jaw, founder of the pro-unification New Party and a well known critic of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and the DPP government, he hopes to turn the BCC into a "public medium," where the views would go beyond the ideological differences of rival parties on the island.
Local Chinese-language news reports stated that Jaw paid some NT$620 million for the radio station, but neither Jaw nor the KMT management confirmed the reports. Jaw said that under the terms of the agreement he signed with the KMT, he cannot reveal the price.
However, KMT Deputy Secretary-General Chang Che-chen (張哲琛) said that "the figure I heard is several times" the reported price.
Both the KMT and Jaw emphasized that KMT Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had nothing to do with the deal.
"I never met Ma in connection with this transaction," Jaw said.
The KMT, once one of the richest political parties in the world with assets estimated at US$6.5 billion in the 1990s, sold its headquarters in Taipei and moved to another building in June this year in a bid to shake off its image of corruption.
Commenting on the sale, Government Information Office Director Cheng Wen-tseng cautioned yesterday that Jaw would not be able to take control of all the BCC channels should he take over the radio station. The licenses for two of the channels operated by the BCC at present are not connected to the radio station so the BCC would not be able to transfer them to Jaw, Cheng said.


Updated : 2021-05-10 02:57 GMT+08:00