Wed, Nov 09, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Legislators unanimous in support of Wang

APEC SUMMIT Lawmakers backed Wang Jin-pyng as envoy to the summit in South Korea, but his replacement is to be decided soon, as Seoul opposes his participation

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng yesterday raises his arms in appreciation after lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution in support of his attendance at the upcoming APEC summit.

PHOTO: CNA

In one rare example of cross-party harmony, the legislature yesterday passed a joint resolution proposed by all caucuses supporting President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) selection of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to stand in for him at next month's APEC leader's summit in Busan, South Korea.

The legislature agreed unanimously on the proposal, which was pushed forward to be the first bill to be discussed on yesterday's legislative agenda.

Thrilled by the unusual harmonious atmosphere, some pan-green legislators began chanting "Speaker Wang, run for the president" and "Speaker Wang, go, go go." Wang responded with a big smile and raised both hands in the air to signify victory.

Meanwhile, despite the unanimous resolution passed by the legislature in support of Wang, the ministry of foreign affairs has chosen three candidates to substitute for him, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday.

The three are President of Academia Sinica Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), who has twice represented the country at the APEC informal leadership summit, Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), convener of the economic advisory group to the president and a former economic affairs minister and Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), governor of the central bank.

As Lee has said previously that he has no intention of attending this year's summit, it is believed that Lin is the most likely candidate to be the president's envoy due to his affiliation with the Presidential Office, CNA said.

When asked by the press for confirmation on the likelihood of Lin being chosen, Director-General of the Presidential Office's Department of Public Affairs Chen Wen-tsung (陳文宗) said last night that he could "neither deny nor confirm" the matter.

He added that Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General James Huang (黃志芳) might announce the decision as early as today.

Before legislators voted on the Wang resolution yesterday, caucus leaders took to the podium to express their party's stance on the matter.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said that it was necessary and important to support Wang to represent the president at the meeting, especially in the face of China's suppression of the nation's international and diplomatic space.

He also expressed regret over opposition leaders, who he said have failed to voice the nation's opposition to Beijing's rejection of Wang's appointment.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip Mark Ho (何敏豪) praised Wang as the only local politician who can integrate political parties and opinions.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) said that sending Wang to the summit had a positive meaning and Cho hoped the arrangement would set a precedent for future international meetings.

People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交) said that it was meaningful that all parties could see eye to eye on one issue.

Hwang also pledged to use "non-official" channels to communicate with the Chinese government in order to help make the trip possible.

Additional reporting by Chang Yun-ping and Chiu

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