The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had invited former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) chairwoman Therese Shaheen to comment on KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) green card status.
KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (
KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (
"Shaheen is a businesswomen now and everyone knows that she is doing arms business with the DPP. Her comments do not represent the US' stance," Wu said during a pre-election media conference at KMT headquarters.
Wu Poh-hsiung also denounced Hsieh for advertising his meeting with AIT Chairman Stephen Young, adding that Young had held a private meeting with him before seeing Hsieh.
"Stephen Young has met me five times this year, but I kept quiet about the meetings," the chairman said. "I don't think it's appropriate to take advantage of foreign friends during election time."
Wu Poh-hsiung said Young met with KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
Meanwhile, Ma's campaign team invited a US immigration lawyer to support the candidate's claim that it was not necessary to complete an I-407 form to give up one's green card.
Chang Yuan-hsiao (
"There are no regulations requiring a green card holder to fill out an I-407 form when he or she gives up [his or her] green card," he said.
In response, Hsieh said Ma's argument was "not worth refuting."
"Ma's remarks obviously confuse the public," he said.
Hsieh also dismissed a report in yesterday's Chinese-language United Daily News. The report cited a statement released by the AIT on March 27, 1996, saying that green cards issued before 1979 were invalid as of March 20, 1996.
The AIT said yesterday that the 1996 statement was issued to explain the regulations and procedures for renewing green cards, and did not touch on expiration.
Hsieh has accused his presidential rival of holding a green card since 1977, while Ma has said his green card was automatically invalidated in 1985 when he applied for a visa to visit the US.
Hsieh's legal team said yesterday that Ma's permanent residency in the US was still valid, regardless of the validity of his green card.
Attorney and former DPP legislator Yang Feng-wan (
"Entering the US on a visitor's visa does not invalidate his permanent residency," she said.
Lin Yu-fang (
Either way, Lin said Ma could easily produce evidence to support his argument or authorize the AIT or US government to do so on his behalf.
"People have the right to know," she said.
Hsieh spokesman Hsu Kuo-yong (
"It is like your driver's license -- you still have the right to drive, even if you don't renew it," he said.
Later yesterday, Hsieh's campaign team denied that Shaheen had been invited to comment on Ma's green card status.
Cheng Wen-tsang (
Asked to comment last night, Young said that Shaheen was a retired US official and anything she said or did reflected her personal opinion -- rather than that of the US government.
Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓), a spokeswoman for Frank Hsieh, reiterated that the DPP candidate would drop out of the presidential race if Ma could prove that he was not a permanent US resident.
Additional reporting by Jenny W. Hsu and staff writer
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