KMT VP candidate explains wealth

by Matthew Strong

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As former labor minister Jennifer Wang registered as the Kuomintang’s vice-presidential candidate Wednesday, more details emerged about her wealth, which had become the focus of criticism recently.

After KMT presidential candidate Eric Liluan Chu chose her as his running mate last week, Wang was accused of having indulged in real estate speculation by buying and selling military properties.

As required by the Central Election Commission, she had to declare her assets when registering as a candidate in the January 16 election Wednesday morning.

According to the official documents, Wang owned seven buildings, four pieces of land and NT$28.59 million (US$880,000) in savings.

Her real estate included an office in Taipei City, a reconstructed military dwelling in New Taipei City’s Banqiao District registered in the name of her husband, who is a Judicial Yuan official, and a piece of land in Chiaohsi, Yilan County, which she bought after leaving government service.

Wang served as the head of the Council of Labor Affairs, the precursor of today’s Ministry of Labor, from 2008 to 2012. Her policies provoked protests over the past week.

Wang also declared a Japanese luxury car, jewelry and antiques worth more than NT$2 million (US$61,500) and NT$1 million worth of shares in a car company, reports said.

KMT lawmaker Lo Shu-lei accused Wang of having made a profit by buying hillside agricultural land in Miaoli County and selling it back to farmers at a profit. She denied making the allegations because the KMT had failed to nominate her for the legislative elections.

Wang denied all accusations of land speculation, while blaming some of the more unpopular aspects of her period as labor minister on her predecessor in that function, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu.

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