Sat, Jun 29, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Han apologizes over fake ‘link’

BACKTRACK:Kaohsiung’s deputy mayor said the route should not have been allowed and the ‘three links’ claim could be linked to misreporting on another route in 2015

By Wang Jung-hsiang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Yeh Kuang-shih, center, is accompanied by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, left, and Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Director Pan Heng-hsu as he speaks to the reporters at a news conference in the city yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday apologized for a city official’s attendance at a supposed “small three links” maritime route opening ceremony, saying that the city government would demand that officials “do their homework” and strive to avoid similar incidents.

Kaohsiung Tourism Bureau Director Pan Heng-hsu (潘恒旭) on Tuesday attended a ceremony hosted by Shang Ho Marine Transport (上和海運) and the China Dream Promotion Association to celebrate the purported maiden voyage on a route between Kaohsiung’s Cijin District (旗津) and Dongtou in China’s Wenzhou.

The Mainland Affairs Council said that the route was not part of the “small three links” and could be a scam, as Shang Ho’s registration was pulled on June 12.

Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時) yesterday told a news conference that the city government would be handing the case over to the police and prosecutors for further investigation into potential fraud.

The “small three links” refer to travel between China and ports in Kinmen, Lienchiang and Penghu counties, he said.

Traveling to China from Cijin or Kaohsiung harbors would not be part of the “small three links,” Yeh said, adding that the misconception could perhaps be traced to a route between Anping Harbor (安平港) in Tainan and China’s Xiamen established in 2015, which media at the time reported as being part of the “small three links.”

Shang Ho wished to reproduce such an effect, but ran into two problems: its dissolution, and failure to authorize the route and the two ships with the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, he said.

“The route should not have been allowed,” Yeh said, adding that Pan should apologize for failing to ascertain the details of an event that he attended.

Pan apologized and promised to refrain from attending similar events.

“This should not have happened,” Han said, adding that he has instructed the city government to be careful when handling all events and ceremonies.

Background checks should be conducted and the events’ purposes clarified, Han said.

Separately yesterday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that he has instructed the Kaohsiung City Government to look into the incident and ascertain whether it was a scam.

Additional reporting by CNA

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