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No comment on spy report on China's ex-finance minister

ROC Central News Agency

2011/06/26 21:10:00

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) Two government agencies declined to comment Sunday on an American Broadcasting Company (ABC) report that former Chinese Finance Minister Jin Renqing's sudden resignation in 2007 might have been linked to a woman spy from Taiwan.

The report quoted whistle-blowing web site WikiLeaks, which quoted a confidential U.S. State Department cable in which a U.S. official said that in August 2007, Jin resigned due to his involvement with a mistress who was also romantically linked to several other prominent Chinese officials.

Investigators suspected that the mistress was not just a "social butterfly," but a professional foreign spy. They now believe she was a Taiwan intelligence operative, said the ABC report.

Neither Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense nor its National Security Bureau would comment on the issue.

China's official announcement on Jin's resignation was that he quit for "personal reasons."

Jin has been dubbed "Asia's best finance minister." With 40 years in finance and tax background, and a special gift for memorizing numbers, some foreign media have called him China's numbers man.

His surprise resignation at the height of his career started the rumor mill, which immediately pointed to his private life and political associations.

A human rights group offered the theory that Jin's disclosure of Premier Wen Jiabao's "sense of fatigue at work" to close friends was later reported by Japan's Kyodo News Service, leading to "high ranking" displeasure and Jin's eventual sacking.

At the time of his quitting, Beijing's rumor mill created a "credible" theory that Jin and two other senior officials who reportedly shared a mistress with him had fallen victim of "honey traps."

The two are Du Shicheng, then-party secretary of Qingdao City, and Chen Tonghai, then-chairman of state-run Sinopec Corp.

China has never officially confirmed Jin's involvement with the two officials or that he had sexual relations with a mistress, whose reported link to Taiwan now seems to paint an even fuzzier picture of the background of Jin's resignation. (By Cheng Chung-sheng and S.C. Chang) ENDITEM/J

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