Members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday greeted the return of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign manager King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport by putting up banners accusing King of crossing the line with remarks he made in the US.
King, a member of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) delegation, left for the US on Sept. 9 to solicit support for Ma’s re--election bid.
During a trip that took the KMT delegation to Washington, New York, Boston, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, King was outspoken on cross-strait issues, such as whether Ma would visit China if elected to a second term and whether a peace accord would be signed with Beijing.
The remarks by King, who does not hold any official position in the government, prompted criticism from the pan-green camp, as well as some from the pan-blue camp.
Led by director of the TSU’s Taipei chapter Chen Teh-hsien (陳德賢), the group in the airport lobby chanted slogans and waved signs that read “Welcome back, Gangster King” — an apparent reference to comments made by American Institute in Taiwan Director William Stanton as quoted in a US cable released by WikiLeaks as having described King’s appearance as reminiscent of the “dapper gangsters frequently seen in Hong Kong films.”
In response, King, who arrived in Taipei early in the morning, said he hoped the accusers could provide evidence in their accusations against him, adding that he hoped people would avoid a “war of words” by smearing others.
Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also concluded her nine-day visit to the US and arrived in Taiwan yesterday evening.
During her visit, Tsai and her entourage visited Boston, New York, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles, during which she met with senior US officials and attended rallies to drum up support for her presidential bid among Taiwanese residing in the US.
According to her campaign office, Tsai is scheduled to visit Japan sometime next month.
Ma’s re-election campaign office spokesperson Ma Wei-kuo (馬瑋國) yesterday said that King was also planning on visiting Japan sometime next month.
Additional Reporting by Staff Writer