Following the involvement of Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) in a row over improper lobbying allegations last week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was engulfed yesterday in what is widely regarded as political infighting between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
In an effort to defend the Ma administration’s recent move to remove Wang from office, King last week sent an 11-page report to Washington to clear up allegations of misconduct in the government’s handling of the case.
According to a report of by Central News Agency (CNA) in Washington, King said he has sued political pundit Nan Fang Shuo (南方朔) to defend his reputation and to stem abuse of freedom of speech.
The accusations made by Nan Fang Shuo against him in media reports and commentary articles alleging that he was involved in a plan by the Ma administration to eliminate Wang were fabricated, King said.
Nan Fang Shuo said in response he “welcomed” the lawsuit brought against him.
“He is so big, and I am so scared,” Nan Fang Shuo said sarcastically.
At a Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee meeting in the legislature, where Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) was present, a number of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers accused King of being biased in supporting Ma.
DPP Legislator Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) asked Lin whether King’s stance that Wang has unduly used his influence over the judicial system in a lawsuit reflected the ministry’s position.
“The case is still on the docket. How can King be so sure that Wang has engaged in improper lobbying?” Chen said.
DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) asked Lin about the content of the 11-page report and said that the ministry has rejected her request for a copy.
Lin said he has not seen the report, and that the ministry has been trying to get hold of it.
When asked how he would explain the political infighting to foreign dignitaries should they inquire, Lin said he would answer that the country is governed by the rule of law and the case is being dealt with by the judiciary.
Lin said the ministry has asked King to report to the ministry on how he has handled the case in Washington.
“How could King tell the US government something, but withhold that information from the ministry?” DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) asked.
In response to DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen’s (陳明文) comments, Lin said that an ambassador or a representative in a foreign country has discretionary powers to handle matters to defend the nation’s interests.