President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has made a diplomatic error by announcing the candidate for the government’s representative to the US without consulting the US, Democratic Progressive Party Policy Research Committee executive director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said yesterday.
King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), a long-time adviser to Ma, was appointed on Wednesday as Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US.
While a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, who asked to remain anonymous, said on Thursday that the US government had welcomed King’s appointment, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokesperson Mark Zimmer, when reached for comments that same day, said he had not yet seen the comment from the US government.
Speaking on the sidelines of an international symposium on regional security, Wu yesterday said the Ma government should not make unilateral announcements on representatives to other nations before obtaining the other nation’s agreement.
There is an important principle that must be followed in diplomatic protocol and the principle is that if the country to which a government is sending its representative has not yet agreed on the candidate, then the government should not make a unilateral announcement, Wu said.
Wu added that during his tenure as representative to the US, the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration had announced his position only after the US had agreed to it.
Wu also said that Ma had contradicted his own 2008 statement by appointing King as the new representative to the US. Ma said in 2008 that representatives to foreign countries should be strictly chosen from among qualified diplomatic personnel.
Commenting on a media interview King gave on Thursday, Wu added that King — as the designated representative to the US — should only comment on issues in an official capacity that fall within his jurisdiction.
In the interview King spoke about senior officers, future subordinates and other governmental organizations before even assuming the position and this only reinforces the view that the government command-chain is out of control, Wu said.