SOURCE / ECONOMY
Firms under Taiwan-based Far Eastern Group, major DPP donor, fined for violations in mainland
Published: Nov 22, 2021 10:19 PM
Shopping mall of Far Eastern Group Photo: screenshot of Far Eastern Group website

Shopping mall of Far Eastern Group Photo: screenshot of Far Eastern Group website

A number of firms funded by Taiwan-based Far Eastern Group have been fined for a series of violations of laws and regulations in the mainland, after law enforcement agencies in various provinces and regions launched investigations into the companies, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday. 

Far Eastern Group has been under serious fire on the Chinese mainland over its financial support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the island of Taiwan as well as Taiwan secessionists who have been punished by the mainland.

When commenting on the regulatory actions against the firms on Monday, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said that diehard Taiwan secessionists, affiliated enterprises and financial donors must be punished in accordance with the law.

One of those firms, the Far Eastern New Century said on Monday that it is taking a humble approach to fines from mainland regulators and will prevent such things from happening again, after it received fines equaling about 36.5 million yuan ($5.7 million) in mainland for violations in environmental protection and other matters, media reports noted. 

The company released a statement saying that it had rectified about 98 percent of the related flawed businesses, and plans to rectify the remaining 2 percent before the end of this year, uschinapress.com reported. 

According to the firm, the incidents have not overly impacted its business or finance, and its fabric business in mainland is running normally currently. The firm will look at the matter humbly and will take moves to prevent such things from happening again in the future. 

Law enforcement departments in several provinces - East China's Jiangsu and Jiangxi Provinces, Central China's Hubei Province and Southwest China's Sichuan Province - and Shanghai Municipality recently inspected the suspected companies.

It was found that the chemical fiber textile and cement enterprises invested in by Far Eastern Group had engaged in illegal activities specifically relating to environmental protection, land use, employees' health, production safety, fire control, taxation, product quality and other issues, Xinhua reported.

In accordance with laws and regulations, the enterprises involved shall be fined, with unpaid taxes also recovered, and they must rectify their operations within a specified time. Also, any unused construction land belonging to the companies will be withdrawn.

The companies involved have admitted to these violations, and have paid or are paying the fines and taxes in accordance with administrative processes, according to Xinhua. Further investigation into the companies is still underway. 

"We welcome Taiwan-based enterprises to invest and develop in the mainland and will continue to protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law. But we will never allow those that support Taiwan secession or undermine cross-Straits relations to make money on the mainland and those who bite the hands that feed them," Zhu Fenglian, the spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Monday when commenting on the regulatory move.

Zhu added that Taiwan secessionists, their affiliated enterprises and their investors must be punished, according to the law. 

Following the report on Monday, some media reports and social media posts have pointed out Far Eastern Group's support for the DPP.

According to statistics posted online by authorities on the island, the company donated NT$58 million ($2.09 million) to the DPP in the 2020 regional legislative elections, making it the DPP's biggest donor.

Moreover, several media reports said that firms under Far Eastern Group also offered financial support to Su Tseng-chang, a diehard Taiwan secessionist who has been punished by the mainland. 

Su, the leader of Taiwan's "executive authority," and his families are prohibited from entering the Chinese mainland, or the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions, and their associated institutes are restricted from seeking business cooperation in the mainland, the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said earlier this month.

"This is an individual case and will not affect Taiwan-based business' willingness to invest in the mainland. As long as they adhere to the one-China principle, refrain from supporting Taiwan secessionists, and operate in accordance with laws and regulations, all Taiwan-based enterprises, including other international enterprises, are welcome to operate in the mainland," an analyst who preferred not to be identified told the Global Times on Monday.

In 2020, nearly 120,000 Taiwan-based enterprises had business operations in the mainland, among which 1,199 are listed in Taiwan, media reports said.

"Taiwan businesses and companies should distinguish right from wrong, stand firm, and draw a clear line with Taiwan secessionist forces," Zhu noted.
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