Tue, Nov 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chen attack on US-born children bites back

NO BIG DEAL The pan-blue camp is making hay out of an election campaign taunt the president had leveled at a rival in 2000 for having children with US citizenship

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Whether or not President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) daughter-in-law, now in the US with her husband, will deliver their baby there has again become a focus of attention in the legislature.

A group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers ironically mocked the president, saying that he would soon be a "grandfather of an American" if the seven-months pregnant Huang Jui-ching (黃睿靚) did not return to Taiwan.

"We strongly suggest that the president use the presidential jet `Air Force One' to bring Huang back to Taiwan," KMT Legislator Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said.

The wrangling over dual nationality of members of politicians' families started back in 2000 when Chen attacked People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), whose his son Soong Chen-yuan (宋鎮遠) is a US citizen, during the presidential election campaign.

Chen had said that Taiwanese did not want "a father of an American" to be a president.

PFP Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said the controversy over whether Huang should have her baby in Taiwan left the president "caught in his own trap."

"It's actually not a big deal that Chen might become a grandfather of an American. The problem is that the president always likes to accuse his rivals of not loving the country on account of the issue of dual nationality," Lee said.

When asked to comment on Lesley Ma (馬唯中), daughter of KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and a US citizen, Tsai said the case was different.

"Ma never launched an attack on [his rivals] on this issue. We respected them," Tsai said when asked whether Lesley Ma should give up her US citizenship.

DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) urged Huang to come back to Taiwan as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Chen Shui-bian's son and daughter yesterday filed a lawsuit against KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) over what they claim to be false statements about their bank accounts in the US.

The president's son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), and daughter Chen Hsing-yu (陳幸妤) issued a statement via their lawyers saying that they filed the lawsuit against Chiu yesterday afternoon.

The president's children could also take legal action against media outlets that ran "groundless reports" about them.

Chiu said on Nov. 10 that Chen Chih-chung and Chen Hsing-yu had secret accounts with the Bank of America and owned property in the US. Confusion about the Romanization of their names, however, cast doubt on the validity of his claim.

Late last night, Chiu said he would file a countersuit against the couple.

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