Wed, Nov 28, 2007 - Page 3 News List

MOFA rebuts news report on envoy's salary, replacement

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday denied a Chinese-language news report saying Parris Chang (張旭成), the nation's representative-designate to the Republic of Ireland, may have received monthly payments of US$10,000 since September even though he has yet to assume office.

A report by the United Daily News yesterday raised the question of whether Chang had been put on the government payroll as diplomats conventionally start getting paid upon their departure from the country.

Chang hasn't received any salary from the ministry because he hasn't taken up his post, MOFA deputy spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) told a press conference.

"The report is not true because it is impossible that the ministry would pay two people for the same position," Yeh said.

Yeh said that Marietta Kaoliau (高青雲), whom Chang is designated to succeed, is still filling in for Chang before his appointment is confirmed by Ireland.

MOFA said Chang has not obtained clearance from Dublin because of China's intervention since he was officially appointed as the nation's representative to Ireland on Sept. 5.

Yeh also denied that the government would appoint Chang as the nation's representative to Bahrain and that Presidential Office spokesman David Lee (李南陽) would be named as the new representative to Dublin, as the United Daily News report said.

The government may consider appointing another representative to Ireland, Yeh said, but added that "we haven't gone that far [to think of other candidates]."

Lee also dismissed speculation that he was being considered as a replacement for Chang.

"It's purely speculation," Lee said. "Nobody has contacted me about the matter."

Chang said late yesterday that reports he had solicited official posts were unfounded and damaged his reputation. He said he would lodge a protest and might take legal action.

Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling and CNA

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