KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), who was head of the GIO between February 2010 and May 2011, termed the foreign ministry’s lackluster performance on public relations “a structural problem” and “not just an isolated case.”
The foreign ministry did not set up a contact point for international media outlets to provide them with up-to-date information regarding the government’s position and its policies on the shooting incident until May 19, he said.
“What were you doing during the 10 days from May 9 to May 19? Taiwanese fishing boats have been suffering intimidation from the Philippines for so many years. Why didn’t you tell those stories to the international community?” Chiang asked.
He said the respective responsibilities of the foreign ministry and the former GIO were inherently not a good fit.
The foreign ministry tends to handle issues in a diplomatic way, where it hopes problems can be resolved through negotiations that are under the radar, Chiang said.
“It deserves discussion whether that diplomatic culture should be handling public relations,” he said.