The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Friday released the names of delegation members who are to represent the US at president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration in Taipei on May 20.
Former US trade representative Ron Kirk is to lead the delegation and is to be accompanied by former US deputy secretary of state John Negroponte, AIT Chairman Raymond Burghardt, AIT Director Kin Moy and Stimson Center distinguished fellow Alan Romberg.
Kirk’s name as leader of the delegation was leaked to the media a few days ago.
Some Taiwanese Americans were disappointed with the list of names.
They said this would have been a perfect opportunity for US President Barack Obama to boost relations with the nation by sending higher-ranking officials.
Former Pentagon official and China expert Joseph Bosco last month published an article in The Diplomat saying that Obama should end the longstanding policy of “excessive” restraint in the face of Chinese provocation by sending US Vice President Joe Biden to Tsai’s inauguration.
He said that sending Biden to Taipei would send a “useful message” to Beijing.
There had also been speculation within the Taiwanese American community that a senior senator might attend the inauguration as a signal of strong US support for Taiwan.
An official with one leading Taiwanese American group told the Taipei Times that members were “disappointed” with the delegation as announced by the AIT in Washington.
“Sending a big name would show Beijing and Taiwan’s other neighbors that the US highly values Taiwan’s democracy,” the official said. “We certainly don’t want to show disrespect to Ron Kirk, but we were hoping for someone with political clout.”
Kirk served as US trade representative from March 2009 to March 2013. He served as mayor of Dallas, Texas, from 1995 to 2002 and as Texas secretary of state from 1994 to 1995.
Negroponte is vice chairman of McLarty Associates, a leading international strategic advisory firm. He served as US deputy secretary of state from 2007 to 2009 and later as director of national intelligence.
US House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific Chairman Matt Salmon has also announced that he will attend the inauguration.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit