Fogh criticized for non-transparency on Taiwanese donations

Taiwanese President Tsai with Alliances of Democracies Foundation Chairman, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Photo: TV2

Former Danish Prime Minister and current Chairman of the non-profit organisation Alliance of Democracies Foundation Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is being criticized for positioning himself as an active advocate for Taiwan as he, through interviews with Danish medias Politikken, DR and Berlingske, has encouraged the Western world to grant Taiwan military defense guaranties while advising Danish businesses to withdraw from Chinese markets.

This has sparked a public interest in the cause of Anders Fogh’s strong engagement in Taiwan’s independency from China and both Danish politicians and organisations are calling for transparency regarding economic donations for Alliance of Democracies.

– I think everybody participating in this discussion would like to know how much money Alliance of Democracies are receiving from Taiwian. Is it very difficult, without such information, to know why Fogh is so aggressive in his word of mouth. Is it because he is strongly engaged, is it the financing, or is it something in between?, former socialist minister and chairman of the UN General Assembly, Mogens Lykketoft, rethorically asked Danish newspaper Politikken, and added Fogh’s statements could increase the conflict with China.

However, Alliances of Democratics has not wished to provide information on the potential Taiwanese money flow and economic relations.

On 17 January, daily news program of DR2 Deadline, asked Fogh about the support from Taiwan to Alliances of Democracies to which Fogh replied he could not remember.

– We are fully transparent about this. Everybody can access our homepage, everybody can see what the different sponsors are providing, Fogh said.

According to Politiken, this is not entirely true. The newspaper has asked the Foundation if Fogh’s statement was a mistake. The Foundation has not replied.

Anders Fogh has previously defined himself as a “lobbyist for anyone who wish to defend freedom and democracy” but Denmark’s largest business- and employee organisation, Dansk Industri, said Fogh’s ideas are unrealistic and would damage both the fight for climate and the Danish economy.

Chairman in Dansk Industri, Jesper Olsen, encouraged Alliances of Democracies to take the lead in being the good example and said the private organisations are taking up more and more space in the political debate why we all have an interest in knowing who they are supported by.

– When you are a self-declared lobbyist for democracies you need to be a lobbyist for healthy democracies. And in healthy democracies you care about where the money is coming from. This counts for politicians as well as for think-tanks, medias, and foundations. The autocratics, Fogh says he is fighting against, wish to keep their economic donations hidden, he said.

Although not including the Taiwanese economic support, on its website, Alliance of Democracies said it is dedicated to transparency.

– But we are entirely open about who our supporters are. On our website, anybody can vision a full list of who we receive economic support, or other kinds of support, from. Our yearly report is approved by an independent accountant and also publicly accessible. This is more information than most NGO’s provide.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

View all posts by Jeannette Hinrup

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