Interlocals has a great article on Chen Yu-hao, the Taiwanese tycoon who fled to China several years ago one step ahead of the authorities, and a good friend of DPP turncoat and anti-Chen campaigner Shih Ming-te. Chen is reputedly the largest taxpayer in China, according to local legend here in Taiwan, and is said to hate Chen Shui-bian. The interlocals piece is a translation of a Taiwan magazine report.

Chen’s planning in China consists of two huge groups of Donglian and Xianglu with total investment of US$3 billion. He is one of the biggest Taiwanese investors in China. In order to maintain the integrity of his China investment, he widely made friends with people from the central to local governments. In 2000, Xianglu’s board director Wu Hongxian, former Chief Secretary of Kaohsiong City Council and Chairperson of KMT’s party branch, was replaced by Taiwanese businessman Yu Xinchang.

The personnel arrangement of Xianglu was related to the election in 2000. After it, Wu’s political connection lost its value. Instead Chen needs Yu’s good connections in Mainland China.

Chen, former CEO of Dongdishi Group, is one of the top ten overseas criminals wanted by Taiwan government. He is a big name in both Taiwan and Mainland. Chen has strong connections with politicians and businessmen in Taiwan. Many years ago, Li Denghui and his associates were his close friends. Likewise Chen has built up his empire of political-business network in Mainland China. His Donglian Group and Xianglu Group in Southeast China are his territory he has managed for years.

According to informants who had worked with Chen, Donglian Group is his first corporation in China. It is a joint venture of Lin Wenjing of Sanlin Group in Indonesia, Li Henglung, board director of Pacific Distribution Investment Co. involved in the corruption case of Taiwan SOGO, Hong Kong businessman Zhu Jiezheng, Zheng Zhoumin, Chinese businessman in the Philippines and Asia Trust and Deng Ahua, Uni-President Group and Taiwan’s “Tainan gang”. All of them are big names and influential in political and economic circles. Years ago, Donglian Group was registered in Bermuda as United Oriental Bermuda Co. Donglian Group is a key player in Chen’s plan of China including the Petrochemical in Tianjin and Liaoling, Cement Plant in Shanxi and Real-estate company in Beijing.

An interesting look into a powerful and influential businessman with connections on both sides of the Strait.