Tue, Oct 28, 2003 - Page 3 News List

No record Soong Mayling paid bribes to US: Chien

ROOSEVELT ERA The foreign minister said he would give a report to the legislature next month about Soong's efforts to promote US relations

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

No official records could prove the late Soong Mayling (宋美齡) bribed then US president Franklin Roosevelt to side with China against Japan during World War II, Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) said yesterday.

On Saturday, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) alleged that Soong, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, had paid large amounts of money to Roosevelt's relatives when she toured the US lobbying for aid for China.

During a legislative session attended by Chien yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chang (章孝嚴) said Lee's "attack on Madame Chiang" had greatly saddened him.

Chang said as a Chiang family member, he was very dissatisfied with what he described as Lee's "false and immoral" remarks.

Chang is the illegitimate son of the late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), Chiang Kai-shek's son.

Last Saturday, Lee said he would unveil "a history the public have not known" about Madame Chiang. He said Madame Chiang, knowing many of Roosevelt's relatives had been conducting business in China, offered a lot of "benefits" to them when she traveled to the US, although he did not provide dates or further details.

Chang said Lee's remarks were an attempt to "distort history" and he demanded Chien clarify the matter by searching the ministry's records.

Chien agreed to give a report to the legislature next month on Soong's contribution to the Republic of China's diplomatic ties with the US.

He said, however, that the ministry could not decide whether Lee's allegation was true.

"I didn't know on what evidence Lee based the accusation," he said.

Chien also told lawmakers that there was no need for the ministry to clarify Lee's remarks because they were his "personal opinion."

People First Party Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said he was worried that Lee's "unkind and sharp" remarks would damage the Taiwan-US ties that he said had already been endangered by President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) recent pro-independence moves.

Lee also insulted Roosevelt by accusing Madame Chiang of giving him bribes, said KMT Legislator Sun Kuo-hwa (孫國華).

Chien said that the US has not officially protested over Lee's comments and he reiterated the ministry's appreciation of Madame Chiang's diplomatic efforts.

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