Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday said that the last-minute renewal of his grandson’s passport at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was not a case of privileged treatment, but apologized for any trouble the incident may have caused the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“My daughter received the emergency service [at the airport] because of her carelessness in preparing for her trip and she should reflect upon the matter with humility. The foreign ministry always seeks to improve efficiency and improve its services, and I am sorry if the incident has caused any trouble for the ministry,” he said while attending an event in New Taipei City (新北市).
Wu made the comments after the Bureau of Consular Affairs helped his daughter, Wu Tzu-an (吳子安), renew her son’s passport last week while she was checking in for a trip to Palau and discovered that her son’s passport was valid for less than six months.
The Wus’ China Airlines flight was delayed for 11 minutes as a result of the incident, with 150 passengers on board kept waiting.
The vice president yesterday shrugged off criticism directed at him and his family over the incident, and denied that his daughter had telephoned him from the airport to seek his help.
“My daughter did not call me from the airport and my grandson’s passport did not have his grandfather’s name on it. There was no so-called privileged treatment involved in the incident,” he said.
However, the Web site of the ministry’s office at Taoyuan airport says that it does not accept any passport applications, visa applications or examinations of paperwork from Taiwanese at its airport counters.
Dismissing concerns that Wu Tzu-an was given special treatment during the incident thanks to her father’s position, the bureau said on Saturday that a passport application service has long been available at the ministry’s two Emergency Contact Centers in restricted areas of the airport, access to which is limited to passengers holding boarding passes.
A passenger wanting to access this service should provide evidence that there is an emergency at the counter, the bureau said.