Sun, Mar 10, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Newsmakers: John Deng ready to pack his suitcases for Geneva

LOOKING AHEAD John Deng, vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, says he looks forward to serving as one of the country's first deputy representatives to the WTO

By Lin Miao-Jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman John Deng (鄧振中) will begin a new phase in his political career in early April, when he goes to Geneva as one of the first Taiwanese deputy representatives to the WTO.

Deng, who has long worked in politics, is experienced in foreign affairs, trade negotiations and cross-strait relations. He had served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Board of Foreign Trade, and the MAC.

While the 50-year-old Deng served as commercial secretary at the Coordination Council for North American Affairs in the US, he was also enrolled in George Washington University, where he received a Masters in comparative law in 1984.

Deng later passed the Bar examination in Washington and received a license to practice law in the US capital.

Although he majored in law while in college, Deng had become very familiar with WTO affairs. Between 1995 and 1997, he served as director of the Board of Foreign Trade's Third Department, which oversees multilateral affairs. He was primarily in charge of preparing Taiwan for APEC meetings and WTO accession.

According to MAC chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the newly appointed WTO representative Yen Ching-chang (顏慶章) phoned her to get her permission before asking Deng to work with him.

Deng's experience makes him the ideal choice for Yen to include in his WTO delegation.

"There are few who are so experienced regarding international trade negotiation in Taiwan," Tsai said.

"Since the country needs him, I have no choice but to let him go," she said. "But he has to wait until I find another deputy -- that's the precondition," she joked.

After former MAC vice chairman Lin Chong-Pin (林中斌) assumed his new post as adviser to the National Security Council on March 1, Deng's departure to Geneva will deal another big loss to Tsai, leaving the MAC with two vacant vice chairmanship posts to fill.

Tsai praised Deng as a loyal and cooperative colleague. It was these personality traits that made Deng such an able assistant.

Tsai told the Taipei Times that she highly valued Deng's sincerity.

"No sharp manners, no complaints, no anger while coordinating things" are Tsai's impression of Deng's working attitudes.

In addition to his more than a decade of public service, Deng spent one year at Acer Inc (宏電) as a special assistant to the company's president, Stan Shih (施振榮). The experience working in the private sector made Deng cherish his career even more.

"Although the private sector has more flexibility, working in the government gives me a sense of pride and achievement from working for my own nation," Deng said.

When asked what the new post means to him, Deng told the Taipei Times, "I am really honored."

"This is a whole new experience that no one from Taiwan has ever had before."

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