Thu, Nov 23, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT chairman denies links to navy program

EMPTY JOB?The former vice president said that he would not have been asked to help in the negotiations, as that office does not have a clearly defined function

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih talks to reporters in Taipei yesterday after the inauguration of King En-ching as the new director of the KMT’s Huang Fu-hsing military veterans chapter.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday rejected allegations that he was involved in negotiations with then-Executive Yuan secretary-general Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) over a navy minesweeper project during his tenure as vice president and accused President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of having a close connection with a scandal-hit shipbuilder.

Local media reported that Chien, who led Cabinet negotiations for a syndicated loan to Ching Fu Shipbuilding Co (慶富造船) in 2015, met with Wu twice at the Presidential Office Building.

Wu said that while there were ample opportunities to meet with Chien, who was unlikely to speak with him about the minesweeper project, because the vice president has no clearly defined state function.

Wu displayed a picture of Tsai talking with Ching Fu president and founder Chen Ching-nan (陳慶男) at Coast Guard Administration drills in Keelung earlier this year, saying: “This picture says everything.”

There are only two possible explanations for any person being allowed past the security perimeter of the head of state overseeing a security exercise: either Tsai agreed to meet with Chen, or “security forces let him through because he was familiar to them,” Wu said.

It is impossible for anyone to pass the security guarding the head of state if the president does not wish to meet them, or if the security personnel are not familiar with them, Wu said.

Asked about the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) remarks that Wu seems eager to distance himself from the case, Wu said: “I have no need to detach myself from allegations that never stuck.”

He also denied that he was connected to the Ching Fu case through former Bank of Taiwan president Shiau Chang-ruey (蕭長瑞), who served as the director of Wu’s office after the Tsai administration took power.

Retired presidents and vice presidents are granted courtesy funds after they have concluded their terms and most of them establish offices with that money.

Wu said Shiau did not talk to him about the loans and soon left his office to work at the Bank of Taiwan.

“It is without doubt that I did not exceeded my bounds during my tenure as vice president,” Wu said.

DPP spokesperson Ho Meng-hua (何孟樺) said that Wu’s denial and deflection betrays his concern about the incident and that he cannot give a straight answer about his involvement with Ching Fu.

Chen was the only person from the private sector to attend four state banquets that the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) held for foreign dignitaries, Ho said, adding that Chen and his wife shared a table with Wu at one of the banquets.

Chen visited the Presidential Office Building twice when Chien was Cabinet secretary-general, Ho said, adding that the visits coincided with Chien’s meetings with banks on the syndicated loan and its amount.

Based on Wu’s logic, it could be questioned whether Wu had deep ties with Chen and his family, Ho said.

This story has been viewed 2761 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top