Fri, Nov 17, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Officials admit meeting with Ching Fu

LOOKING SOUTH:James Huang said his meeting with Chen Ching-nan had been about cooperation with Indonesian shipbuilders and developers, not the minesweeper project

By Su Yung-yao, Sean Lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co president Chen Ching-nan yesterday reports to a police station in Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen District to fulfill his bail conditions. His son, Chen Wei-chih, and wife, Lu Chao-hsia, have also been required to report to the police station daily.

Photo: CNA

Two government officials yesterday said they met Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co (慶富造船) president Chen Ching-nan (陳慶男) and his son, Chen Wei-chih (陳偉志), last year, but they did not press the navy to expedite a payment of NT$2.4 billion (US$79.58 million at the current exchange rate) for a minesweeper project.

The visit by Chen Ching-nan and Chen Wei-chih to then-New Southbound Policy Office director James Huang (黃志芳) and Presidential Office Third Bureau Director David Lee (李南陽) at the Presidential Office on Sept. 23 last year was the last of six visits the two made to the office since 2010.

The first five meetings occurred during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, including a meeting on Dec. 9, 2015, between Chen Ching-nan and then-Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Hsiung Kuang-hua (熊光華).

The other four visits were made when the office was receiving foreign dignitaries, records showed.

Chen Ching-nan was involved in all but one of the the six visits, while Chen Wei-chih took part in the first and the last.

The records were published by the Presidential Office on Wednesday night, contradicting its earlier claims it had found no evidence of a visit last year.

Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) on Wednesday said that Chen Ching-nan and his son did not meet with any official from either President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) office or that of the National Security Council secretary-general.

The pair met with Huang and Lee in their respective offices and left the Presidential Office Building after 1 hour and 48 minutes, Lin said.

Lee said the minesweeper project was not raised during the meeting, adding that a full report on the meeting had been compiled and forwarded to the Presidential Office.

Lee said that he had asked his secretary to contact Huang’s office after hearing that Chen Ching-nan also planned to visit Huang.

Huang said he handed his visitor logs to the Presidential Office Division of Governmental Ethics on Wednesday afternoon.

Huang said his meeting with Chen Ching-nan had primarily been about cooperation with Indonesian shipbuilders and land developers on Kabupaten Pulau Morotai Island in Indonesia.

“He [Chen Ching-nan] brought up the minesweeper project toward the very end of the meeting, but I thought has was simply complaining,” Huang said.

“I am willing to take full responsibility” if it could be proven that he had contacted the Ministry of National Defense and the Presidential Office as a result of the meeting, Huang said.

Huang said he had not relayed Chen Ching-nan’s complaints to his superiors as it was “not his job.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called on Ma to clarify the details of the meetings with Chen Ching-nan during his presidency.

DPP caucus secretary-general Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純) said that on the same day Chen Ching-nan accepted then-vice president Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) invitation to appear at a state banquet for Guatemala on Dec 29, 2015, then-Executive Yuan secretary-general Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) called for a second round of mediation talks with the company’s creditor banks.

Wu should clarify what happened at the meeting and why the banks, which had refused to provide Ching Fu with a loan, later agreed to the loan, Ho said.

Additional reporting by Peng Wan-hsin

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top