Taiwan: Kuomingtang Party claims ownership of Tsingtao Brewery

Kuomingtang (KMT), the leading political party in Taiwan, presented old documents proving ownership of the Tsingtao Brewery on mainland China. Chiu Da-chan, director of KMT's administration and management committee, said earlier at a press conference that KMT possessed extensive property before it lost its mainland China territory in the Chinese Civil War and fled to the island of Taiwan in 1949.

Chiloo Industries, founded in 1948 as an organization to fight the rising influence of the Communist Party, was one of KMT's earliest properties. It owned Tsingtao Brewery, a rubber plant and a flour mill. Therefore the brewery would classify as an asset, which was illegally seized by the Chinese communist government. The rubber plant later became Bridgestone, the world's largest tire and rubber company.

Last year, Taiwan passed  a  law  providing  the  legal  foundation  and  principles  for  dealing  with  ill-gotten  party  assets of its own KMT party and promoting  transitional  justice. Subsequently a committee was established to  uncover  assets  illegally  or  unfairly  obtained  by  the  KMT during  its  authoritarian rule. Since all assets since 1945 had to be declared, also Chiloo and the Tsingtao Brewery showed up on the list, even though the KMT itself lost ownership on it to the Chinese communist government.

Therefore Chiu’s remarks on a restitution of the lost property seem to be satirically and the current owners of Tsingtao Brewery do not have to fear financial claims. Asahi Group Holdings currently holds a 19.9% stake in China’s second largest brewery but appointed Morgan Stanley to advise on a potential sale.

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