Fri, Dec 29, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Liu says US didn't ask to see speech

REPORT DENIED The Presidential Office deputy secretary-general said that the US government had not expressed possible concerns about the president's New Year speech

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The US government did not request an early look at President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) New Year address, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said that she had not been instructed to show the draft of Chen's New Year address to American Institute in Taiwan Director Stephen Young.

She added that Chen was not obliged to show his New Year address to the US government for approval.

"As we have done in the past, we will inform the US government of the general content of the president's New Year address," Liu said. "However, we don't have the obligation to let them look it over."

Press report

Liu was responding to a report that was published in yesterday's Chinese-language Apple Daily.

The report said that Young had personally requested Presidential Office Secretary-General Mark Chen (陳唐山) for permission to preview the draft of the president's New Year address because he was worried that it "might cause trouble," particularly the section touching on constitutional reform.

The report said that Young made the request before he returned to the US for the Christmas holidays.

Mark Chen had intended to present Young with an outline of the draft, but Young was unhappy with the answer, the report said.

The report said that Young then complained to President Chen.

Arms package

As the US government has been supportive of the long-stalled arms procurement package, the report said that Young thought President Chen should at least have responded to US concerns about the "Second Republic" constitution proposed by former presidential advisor Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) and endorsed by President Chen.

Liu yesterday said that interactions between Taiwan and the US have conformed and will continue to conform to diplomatic protocol.

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