Thu, Oct 21, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Chen Chu denies enlisting Soong’s aid meeting Chinese

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) yesterday denied allegations by People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) that she sought his help during last year’s World Games to meet senior Chinese officials.

During an interview on ERA TV on Tuesday night, Soong said Chen had contacted him via his “friends” to arrange meetings with senior Chinese officials.

Soong said he decided not to help the mayor after Chen joined other Democratic Progressive Party city and county chiefs in inviting exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama to visit southern Taiwan in the wake of Typhoon Morakot in August last year and after her decision to allow The Ten Conditions of Love, a documentary on Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, to be shown during the Kaohsiung Film Festival last year.

Chen dealt with those matters in a “very inappropriate” fashion, Soong said.

Asked to comment on the allegations, Chen told reporters she had sought to increase the city’s global visibility as host of the Games. She did not elaborate.

Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), spokesman for Chen’s campaign office, told reporters the mayor had never contacted Soong about cross-strait affairs.

Chen traveled to China from May 21 to May 24 last year to promote the Games, meeting Beijing Mayor Guo Jinlong (郭金龍), Chinese State Sports General Administration Director Liu Peng (劉鵬) and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng (韓正).

The visit drew criticism from a number of pro-independence groups, which threatened to boycott her re-election bid. However, she drew praise for referring to Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as president during her meeting with Guo.

Asked for comment, Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興), who is running in next month’s Greater Kaohsiung mayoral election as an independent candidate, said he had never heard of the matter, adding that the allegations against Chen could nevertheless boost his support.

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