Ex-movie star claims KMT wanted him to kill Hsu Hsin-liang

A former martial arts movie star disclosed that former Kuomintang authorities made him an offer to assassinate former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Hsu Hsin-liang , who escaped to the United States for a decade to avoid political imprisonment during the martial law era, local media reported yesterday.
The local Chinese-language Liberty Times ran a front-page story yesterday saying that Wang Yu, a former martial arts actor who rose to fame in Hong Kong and Taiwan for his role in the martial arts drama "One Armed Swordsman," told the newspaper during an interview that Bai Wan-hsiang, a high-ranking KMT official, came to him and asked him to "do something for Taiwan."
"Bai took out a picture and an address. Wang took one look at the picture and instantly knew that the KMT wanted him to assassinate Hsu Hsin-liang," the report said.
According to the report, Wang said that in order to protect himself, he asked Bai to give him a "certificate of appointment" of the assassination mission, but his request was turned down by the KMT official. Wang said in the report that he did not accept the mission.
The newspaper report immediately made national headlines in local cable news stations yesterday, generating hot debate on the authenticity of the claims. But as of press time yesterday, Wang had not appeared in public to either confirm or deny the report.
Hsu, whose life is full of twists and legends, was a front-runner in initiating a series of democratic movements in Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s. Wang joined the KMT when he studied at National Cheng Chi University. But the former KMT authority later regarded him as a political dissident after he insisted on running for Taoyuan County magistrate in 1977, which later triggered the Chungli Incident. Hsu was forced into a 10-year-exile in the U.S. since 1979, but he continued to push for Taiwan's democracy and anti-Kuomintang ideology by launching a weekly paper in the U.S.
Wang came into the media spotlight after his involvement in a bloody gang fight in the 1980s.
According to the Liberty Time report, Hsu's assistant on Sunday denied that he ever heard the story of the KMT giving orders to assassinate him during his stay in the U.S. But Hsu's brother, Hsu Kuo-tai, a former legislator, told local cable news station TVBS yesterday that he knew about the assassination mission. "We all knew that the KMT put Hsu Hsin-liang as the top target when he was in exile. But after the Chiang Nan murder case in 1984, the assassination mission of Hsu was canceled," Hsu Kuo-tai told TVBS.
The "Chiang Nan Murder Case," involved the political assassination of Liu Yi-liang, pen name "Chiang Nan," who published his thesis topic "The Biography of Chiang Ching-kuo" for his doctoral degree at Washington University. The publication immediately drew attention from the Military Intelligence Bureau of the Ministry of Defense in Taiwan.
The bureau then came to Chen Chi-li, head of the Bamboo Union gang, and asked him to murder Liu, saying that the mission was a patriotic act. However, the KMT regime later betrayed Chen and sentenced him to life in prison after Chen successfully carried out the assassination mission.
Chen escaped to Cambodia to avoid life imprisonment and stayed there for 11 years. He never returned to Taiwan after the Chiang Nan murder case and died of cancer at the age of 66 in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Wang was quoted in the report as saying that the reason he disclosed the KMT's assassination of Hsu Hsin-liang to the media was because he owed Chen a debt of gratitude. Chen had helped Wang solve the bloody gang fight case during the early '80s.