Tue, Jan 03, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Talks with the US are planned over diplomat agreement

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan and the US will hold talks about amending a diplomatic immunity pact signed between the two nations more than three decades ago, since the agreement is far from comprehensive, Taiwanese Representative to the US Jason Yuan (袁健生) said on Sunday.

Yuan said Taipei’s representative office in the US and the US Department of State have agreed that the two sides would discuss the immunity and privileges of Taiwanese officials in the wake of a recent case involving an official who was arrested and detained by the FBI.

Jacqueline Liu (劉姍姍), director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Kansas City, Missouri, has been detained since Nov. 10 last year for overworking and underpaying her Filipino housekeepers.

The case sparked a dispute between Taipei and Washington over the application of diplomatic immunity for officials from Taiwan.

Taipei has said that Liu should be granted immunity, while the US maintains that Liu enjoys a status similar to that of consular officers, which means that she has immunity only for acts performed within the scope of her authorized function.

Yuan told reporters that the US also feels that the Agreement on Privileges, Exemptions and Immunities, which was signed between the two countries in 1980, is not comprehensive and can be improved.

“Now that the chance has arisen, we will work toward it,” Yuan said.

Yuan made the remarks on the sidelines of a Republic of China flag-raising ceremony in Rockville, Maryland.

The ceremony was attended by Taiwanese expatriates and students, who braved the cold winter weather.

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