Taiwan envoy to US apologises over staff's remark

Taiwan envoy to US apologises over staff's remark

TAIPEI - Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the US yesterday apologized for a controversial comment made by a member of his Washington staff regarding the recent row over Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng's alleged illegal lobbying.

In a released statement, King Pu-tsung apologized for his negligence in overseeing the behavior of Frank Wang, who serves as head of the press division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US

TECRO is Taiwan's de facto embassy in the US in the absence of diplomatic ties.

On Sept. 14, Wang posted a comment online under the name "fywang" in response to a Washington Post report published on Sep. 12 entitled "Taiwan's president, ruling party hit by scandal, rifts, anger over wiretapping."

In his comment, Wang said the Wang Jin-pyng case is a "simple" criminal case that has been "distorted as a political struggle by some in Taiwan."

He also called Wang Jin-pyng a"former legislative speaker," despite the fact that the Taiwan High Court has yet to rule on whether Wang Jin-pyng can retain his Kuomintang (KMT) party membership as well as his positions as lawmaker and legislative speaker.

He concluded his comments by saying that "I'm very glad the KMT came to resolutely discipline its heavy-weight party member. Taiwan's judiciary will be cleaner, and the legislative process will be smoother."

Wang did not disclose his identity as TECRO's press division chief in his online comment.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker Hsiao Bi-khim, however, found the post on Thursday and later named Wang as the person responsible for making the remark.

Hsiao accused Wang of failing to uphold administrative neutrality and called for the foreign ministry to punish him for such "inappropriate remarks."

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