Sun, Jul 19, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Envoy leaked classified data in book: MOFA

By Fan Cheng-hsiang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has accused the nation’s former representative to Switzerland, Rex Wang (王世榕), of leaking classified information in his newly published book about his job as a representative.

In his book titled Straight Talk (直言) released on Friday, Wang talked about challenges and details of his life as Taiwan’s representative in Switzerland from 2002 until last year.

Topics touched upon in the book include the investigation of the Lafayette warship purchase scandal, Taiwan’s efforts to obtain observership at the World Heath Assembly in Geneva and negotiations between Taiwan and Switzerland on mutual recognition of drivers’ licenses and tax issues.

Wang also criticized the personnel and bureaucratic systems at the ministry as well as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “ceasefire” policy.

However, some quoted telegraphs between the representative office and MOFA have been found to contain classified information, MOFA said. MOFA officials said looking at the exchanges between Wang and the ministry’s Department of European Affairs alone that are cited in the book alone, as many as 13 pieces of information were classified.

The ministry concluded that Wang was involved in leaking and decided to take legal action against him.

Wang told a book-launching news conference on Friday that several people had asked if the contents would cause him any trouble.

“I asked some colleagues at MOFA and my attorney to look at it, and we all thought it would be fine,” he said.

He said he only wrote about one-fifth of what he wanted to say in the book.

“My objective is to make Taiwan’s diplomacy better — all criticism in the book is aimed at issues, not at any individual,” he said.

Former representatives to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉), to South Korea Lee Tsai-fang (李在方) and to the WTO Yen ­Ching-chang (顏慶章) all attended Friday’s news conference. They praised the book as a valuable account of Taiwan’s diplomatic history and said it should be required reading in training sessions for diplomats.

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