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Taiwan presidential candidate says he will drop out if proven to have accepted NT$1 from China

Former Chinese spy told Australia about Beijing's interference in Taiwan politics

KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (front left).

KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (front left). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following allegations by a former Chinese spy that China was funding his campaign, Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) promised Saturday (November 23) he would drop out of the election race if proven he had accepted even NT$1 (US$0.03) from the communist country.

Australia’s The Age reported that William Wang (王立強), a former spy, had applied for political asylum and had been talking about Chinese interference overseas, including the funding of pro-Chinese politicians and media in Taiwan.

The allegations included a sum of US$2.8 million (NT$85.6 million) for Han’s campaign for mayor of Kaohsiung City last year, the Central News Agency reported.

Responding to the accusations, Han told reporters Saturday that if he had accepted even NT$1 from China during the present campaign, he would immediately abandon his presidential election bid, while if he had accepted NT$1 last year, he would give up his position as mayor of Kaohsiung.

Wang reportedly alleged that China had channeled funding to media groups in Taiwan, with the “purchase” of news headlines as one tactic. It had also infiltrated universities and donated funds to politicians it deemed favorable to its cause, while also setting up thousands of social media accounts to attack Taiwan’s government.

Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians said the allegations by the former spy proved their earlier accusations about Chinese interference and fake news in the current election campaign.