Thu, Nov 20, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Su Chi book implies Lien China leaks

SHUDDER TO THINK:A DPP legislator is demanding a probe after the book recounted Lien Chan transcribing Ma’s inaugural speech, for reasons he ‘could not dare’ to think about

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi, second left, and his wife, Grace Chen, right, are accompanied by former vice president Vincent Siew, second right, and former foreign minister Fredrick Chien as they promote two books by the couple in Taipei on Nov. 6.

Photo: George tsorng, Taipei Times

Former National Security Council secretary-general Su Chi’s (蘇起) new book caused a stir yesterday when a passage in it was interpreted as implying that former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) leaked information to China, prompting Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) to demand that the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) look into the matter.

The publication of the book, 20 years of Vacillations in Cross-Strait Relations (兩岸波濤二 十年紀實), comes in the wake of the council ousting deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) on suspicion of leaking classified information.

In the book, Su writes that when he briefed Lien on the contents of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) inauguration speech a day before the 2008 inaugural ceremony took place, Lien had asked that the speech be recited slowly so he could transcribe it word for word.

Su said that at the time, he “could not dare to think more about why [Lien would need to have a complete copy].”

Since the book hit the shelves, some media personalities have said they suspect Su was implying that Lien intended to leak the information to Beijing.

At a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee yesterday, Tsai said he would “help Su think more” if he could not dare to do so himself.

“[He] suspected that Lien is a ‘red’ spy who leaked national information to Chinese leaders,” the legislator said.

Responding to Tsai’s questioning, MAC Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) said that since Su “could not dare” to deliberate the matter further, “we cannot know what Su was thinking about either.”

“Former MAC deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao was put under investigation for leaking information just because he allegedly disclosed some information to Taiwanese businesspeople [in China], who later passed it on to Chinese officials. In Su’s book, Lien is indirectly accused of being a spy who sells information for personal gain, but the council is playing dead about it,” Tsai said.

When Lin said that Chang was put under investigation because of a tip-off, Tsai retorted that Su “openly talked” about the allegations in the book and asked the council to initiate an investigation into the supposed claim.

“We will need to sort the matter out further [before taking any action],” Lin said.

Lien Chan’s office spokesperson Ting Yuan-chao (丁遠超) yesterday said that according to Lien, he was just being prudent in taking down a transcript of the speech verbatim because he wanted to show — in a polite response to Ma’s request that he preview the speech — that he took the matter seriously.

Ting called on Su to clarify what “worry” had made him fearful to “think more,” instead of allowing the calumny against Lien to go viral.

Also asking for Su’s clarification was former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who said: “Su Chi is a person [who once held high position in the government] and has inked a paragraph that is at simultaneously vague and clear. This is serious stuff — Su [Chi] and Lien should straighten it out.”

Su Chi did not answer a telephone call from the Taipei Times and his assistant said he would not respond or comment on any remarks about the implications made in his book — including the call for clarification issued by Lien’s office — during the election period, saying that the hype about the paragraph is part of the election campaign.

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