Former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) director Douglas Paal on Monday offered advice to Taiwan’s new representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), as well as to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) representative to the US Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).
Wu arrived in Washington on Monday.
Asked to comment on King’s arrival in the US capital, Paal said that one of the “signal achievements” of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration — “and [King’s predecessor] Jason Yuan (袁健生), was a part of this” — was the very high quality of communication it had established with the administration of US President Barack Obama.
“Communication between the US and Taiwan is now very good — we just don’t have surprises,” Paal said.
“Good work is getting done and people understand where the two sides are coming from — before, during and after events,” he said.
“You have to give top marks to the Ma administration and to the Obama administration for achieving that,” Paal added.
Asked about Wu’s arrival, Paal said the DPP had been “specifically ambiguous or ambivalent” about some issues.
While not detailing or defining the issues involved, he said they tended to be the “most sensitive.”
Paal said Wu would help the DPP “if he can bring some clarity to these issues.”
Wu is scheduled to travel to Taiwan later this month, before returning to Washington early next year to establish a permanent DPP office.
King is also to return to Taipei to attend a legislative session scheduled for Dec. 26.
Taiwan’s new representative to the US said earlier the country would try to maintain “three noes” in relations with the US — “no surprises, no time lags and no errors.”
King, who arrived in Washington on Saturday to assume his position, added that he would “listen, watch and learn more, but talk less” for the time being, hoping to familiarize himself with the job as soon as possible.
As Taiwan’s representative to the US, King said his job is to work in the interests of his country, adding that he would serve all people that support Taiwan’s interests, regardless of their party affiliations.
King later attended three meetings with Taiwanese expatriates in the Washington area, including supporters of both Taiwan’s pan-blue and pan-green camps.
At the second meeting with several pro-green groups, such as the Taiwanese Association of America and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, King said he is connected to both Taiwan’s Hoklo and Hakka ethnic groups.
The 56-year-old envoy told them that he was born in Tainan and can speak Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) spoken by the Hoklo.
“When I quarrel with people, they know I definitely don’t have an accent,” King said in Hoklo.
King also introduced himself as a “Hakka son-in-law” in the Hakka dialect, adding that his wife is of Hakka origin and would also help him work with Hakka Taiwanese expatriates.
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