Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers want apology for Lu

SAY SORRY DPP legislators Lee Chun-yee and Chen Chin-jun, members of Annette Lu's delegation, say that Boeing must explain its perceived snub of the vice president


A DPP lawmaker announced yesterday that his colleagues are considering asking for a legislative resolution calling for Boeing Co to formally apologize for its rude treatment of Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

"Ruling party lawmakers are studying the possibility of proposing a legislative resolution in the next session to demand an official apology from Boeing after its rejection of the vice president's visit angered Lu and the entire country," said DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅).

"The resolution would also demand that the Ministry of Transportation and Communications not make any further deals with Boeing if it refuses to make an apology," Lee said.

Lee was one of several lawmakers who traveled with Lu to Latin America via transit stops in the US. Lu's delegation returned home yesterday morning.

Other DPP lawmakers had previously called for the government to reconsider China Airlines' contract for 10 airplanes from Boeing.

"We would like the government to review the deal since Boeing apparently violated the rule that business is business by overturning a promised visit by Vice President Lu," DPP legislative whip Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said on Tuesday.

DPP Legislator Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻), another member of Lu's delegation, confirmed that the Boeing visit had been on the itinerary for Lu's stopover in Seattle.

"The official itinerary stated that the delegation was to visit the aircraft maker from 3pm to 5pm on August 18," Chen said, showing reporters his copy of the itinerary.

He said a legislative resolution could also include a call for the government to consider rescinding the Boeing deal.

But he said he didn't think the Boeing incident indicated a possible change in US-Taiwan relations.

"Boeing's handling is irrelevant to the US government's attitude since the vice president received a high standard of welcome from the US government on her transit stops," Chen said.

His colleague, DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-fang (蔡啟芳), told the news conference that he disagreed with a pan-blue lawmaker's view that the Boeing incident was indicative of deteriorating ties with Washington. Tsai said Legislator Sisy Chen's (陳文茜) analysis was biased.

"Sisy Chen's interpretation of the Boeing issue is debatable. She seemed delighted to label the upset as a warning of a deteriorating ties between Taiwan and US," Tsai said.

He said that it was going too far to link a private company's conduct to a change in the US government's attitude.

Meanwhile, Premier Yu Shyi-kun called on both public and private enterprises to do business with the national interests in mind.

"Let's keep politics within politics and business in business. They shouldn't be mixed together," Yu said. "I am sorry that the vice president's planned visit was rejected and I think it's very inappropriate for Boeing to act rudely to Taiwan due to pressure from China or any other country."

Yu said that he has instructed the China Aviation Development Foundation to handle the matter, adding that the Cabinet will respect China Airlines' final decision.

The company has sent a letter to Boeing asking for an official explanation of its decision to deny Lu a visit.

"The letter said that the airline is an important client of Boeing and that it regrets and disapproves of Boeing's denying Lu a visit," said Wu Chih-hou (伍志厚), an airline spokesman.

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