Taiwan visa probe of pro-Beijing Hong Kong film boss unearths CCP, triad links: report
Published (HKT): 2021.01.26 06:20
The application by Hong Kong movie mogul Charles Heung and his son Jacky for dependent visas to live in Taiwan may face obstacles because the island’s security records have thrown up alleged ties between the pro-Beijing film boss and organized crime, according to a local media report.
Heung, a former honorary chair of the state-backed China Film Foundation, was believed to have close relations with the Chinese Communist Party, the Liberty Times reported on Monday, citing sources from Taiwan’s national security department investigating the Heung family’s background.
The investigation also revealed that Heung’s father, Heung Chin, was the founder of the Sun Yee On triad, which has close ties with United Bamboo, one of Taiwan’s biggest organized crime gangs, the paper reported, citing police sources. His brother, Heung Wah-bo, was arrested and charged in 1972 for drugs offenses. Heung himself, who was 23 at the time, was charged for illegal foreign currency trading, the report added.
Heung, the head of Hong Kong-listed China Star Entertainment Group, is a well-known film producer behind a number of popular movies starring A-list actors including Stephen Chow and Andy Lau. As an actor, he is best known for starring opposite Chow Yun-fat in the dramedy classic “God of Gamblers,” in which he plays a highly skillful bodyguard with a stern face.
However, Heung’s applications to attend the island’s Golden Horse Film Awards were rejected on multiple occasions, Liberty Times reported, citing national security sources.
“The Hong Kong SAR government has already issued a Certificate of No Criminal Conviction to Taiwan authorities to prove that he is an innocent man,” Heung’s wife Tiffany Chen, a Taiwan native, said in a mobile phone text message responding to an inquiry from Apple Daily. “Besides, [Heung] was already approved to chair a publicly listed company by the then-colonial government in 1996.”
The Mainland Affairs Council confirmed last month that both Heung and his son were applying for dependent visas. Heung’s wife Tiffany and his son Jacky’s wife are both Taiwan natives. However, the case raised eyebrows because of Heung’s background and his son was said to be a member of the All-China Youth Federation, which is under the Communist Youth League of China. Taiwan law prohibits those from Hong Kong and Macao who are engaged in CCP affairs from entering the island.
Having Taiwan spouses does not guarantee a smooth application for dependent visas, said a source from the national security department, according to the Liberty Times. The Taiwan authorities reserve the rights to reject applications from those involved in criminal activities or who work for the Chinese authorities and army.
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