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Taiwan People's Party VP fails to report assets of Belgian baron husband

Cynthia Wu reported extensive assets including sapphire jewelry, but left form blank for baron

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Cyntia Wu.

Cyntia Wu. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan People's Party (TPP) vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) is suspected of failing to declare the property of her foreign spouse, a Belgian baron.

Wu has been accused by a media personality of making a false declaration of property as she did not own up to the assets owned by her Belgian husband Renaud van der Elst when registering as a vice presidential candidate. In response to the accusations, Wu's spokesperson Chen Yu-cheng (陳宥丞) said that this was because registration was rushed and complex, reported CNA.

A legal team has been consulted to coordinate with the Central Election Commission (CEC) on handling a subsequent property declaration for Wu's foreign spouse, said Chen.

The property of Wu, dubbed the “Shin Kong Princess” by local media for being from the third generation of the Shin Kong Group family empire, has drawn particular attention.

According to the commission, she owns a piece of land in New Taipei City, a property in the U.K., a Mini Cooper car, savings deposits of NT$2,501,687 (US$79,000), total securities amounting to NT$36,713,090, a set of sapphire jewelry worth NT$8 million, two insurance policies, and debts totaling NT$9,923,292. However, political commentator Huang Yang-ming (黃揚明) said on Facebook Tuesday that according to the law, the assets of the candidate's spouse must be declared as well.

Huang posted copies of the assets declaration forms for Van der Elst showing that all the boxes for assets were left empty. Huang said that unless Wu's spouse truly has no substantial assets this could be a violation of Article 2 and Article 5 of the Act on Property-Declaration by Public Servants (公職人員財產申報法) and raise suspicions of a false declaration of assets.

In response, Chen said this is the first time in history that the spouse of a vice presidential candidate is a foreign national. Chen said the public should rest assured that the campaign offices for Wu and TPP presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) will handle the matter in accordance with the law.

Taiwan People's Party VP fails to report assets of Belgian baron husband
Cynthia Wu and Renaud van der Elst pose for wedding photo in 2022. (CNA photo)