Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 4 News List

AIT chairman arrives in Taiwan

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt arrived in Taiwan yesterday amid political upheaval surrounding President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

Burghardt arrived in Taipei in the evening and is expected to meet with Chen this morning to exchange views on recent political developments, including moves to recall the president over his relatives' alleged involvement in a series of corruption scandals, sources told the Taipei Times yesterday.

In addition, Burghardt will visit Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) and opposition leaders.

Burghardt's meeting with Wang is scheduled for this afternoon, and his visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.

Burghardt is also expected to visit AIT's Kaohsiung office and meet with local media executives during his stay.

He is scheduled to leave Taiwan on Monday.

The AIT chairman's visit to Taiwan at the height of a political crisis facing Chen has prompted speculation that the US is deeply concerned about Chen's political fate. Opposition parties have been preparing to table a motion in the legislature to recall the president.

US State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack yesterday responded to questions from Taiwanese reporters in Washington on the issue, saying that the US regarded the matter of Chen's possible recall as one that should be decided by the Taiwanese people, not the US, the Central News Agency reported yesterday.

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