The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced at midnight on Monday that the US government had formally approved the appointment of King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) as the nation’s representative to Washington.
A long-term confidant of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), King was appointed to the position in late September, replacing Jason Yuan (袁健生), who returned to Taiwan early last month to lead the National Security Council.
King is expected to arrive in the US at the end of this month or early next month, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) told reporters yesterday.
Taipei was notified of Washington’s approval of King’s designation on Friday last week, the ministry said, adding that Washington asked the Executive Yuan on Monday to forward the information to the Presidential Office to complete the appointment paperwork.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), chairperson of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, said King should brief the committee before taking up his post in the US.
The ministry has yet to agree to the request.
“It has not been settled yet whether King should brief the legislature before he takes up his post. King’s willingness need to be respected. From the ministry’s point of view, we hope the committee will schedule the meeting sometime after King takes office, because by then he will have a better understanding of Taiwan-US relationships,” Lin said.
Lin said the ministry was glad the US gave its approval shortly after the US presidential election and dismissed comments that the waiting period was “inordinately long” or that Taipei had committed a faux pas by announcing King’s appointment before securing Washington’s approval.
“It’s normal procedure,” Lin said.
It takes some time for each country to consult with the US about its ambassadorial appointments because the US Department of State and the White House are involved in the process, Lin said.
King, 56, is a journalism graduate from National Chengchi University and has a doctorate in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. He was also a visiting scholar at the Washington-based think tank Brookings Institution.
Additional reporting by CNA