Thu, Dec 04, 2008 - Page 3 News List

SEF boss quizzed over KMT role, Chinese investments

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) ignored Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators’ calls yesterday for him to avoid conflicts of interest and insisted that he would not resign as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman.

“There is no conflict of interest between the two positions, and I will not stop attending the KMT’s activities,” Chiang said at the legislature in response to DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang’s (蔡煌瑯) challenge over his dual position.

Tsai urged Chiang to focus solely on his SEF duties.

“There are eight KMT vice chairmen now and your position as the SEF chairman is far more important,” Tsai said as he questioned Chiang during a meeting of the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee.

The committee was reviewing the four agreements signed by the foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) last month.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) and Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) had also been invited to attend.

Chiang said former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) had served concurrently as the DPP chairman and his KMT post would not affect his performance as SEF chairman.

DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) questioned Chiang over his family’s alleged investments in China and demanded that the SEF chief and other cross-strait negotiators should make public an investments they have in China.

Chiang denied having any family investments in China.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-Ling (管碧玲) questioned Chiang over an effort to seek a Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) with China similar to the one between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s CEPA was signed under the “one country” framework, Kuan said, and the SEF would be belittling Taiwan’s sovereignty if it followed such a framework.

Chiang dismissed Kuan’s concerns, while promising to defend the country’s sovereignty if the SEF were to negotiate with China.

“What’s more important is the content, and we want the content to be beneficial for Taiwan. Of course the SEF will defend the country’s sovereignty,” he said.

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