Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Saturday defended appointing his aide Vincent Chao (趙怡翔) as head of the political division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington amid accusations of nepotism.
Chao was criticized after Wu announced his appointment, with some saying that he had not taken an examination for diplomatic personnel.
Others questioned whether the 30-year-old has the experience required for the post, which reportedly has a basic monthly salary of NT$240,000, saying that he was appointed only because of his close ties to Wu.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
Wu said many foreign representatives praised Chao’s performance when he worked as his office director.
“Chao is my most important aide” and he is qualified for the position, which requires him to communicate with US officials, Wu said, adding that Chao’s salary complies with official standards.
American Institute in Taiwan political section chief Christian Marchant wrote on Chao’s Facebook page, calling him “a good friend” and telling him to “hang in there.”
Taipei City Councilor Lee Ming-hsien (李明賢) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the appointment disrupts the nation’s civil servant cultivation system.
If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants to promote young people, it can find qualified people from within the established civil servant system for diplomatic service, Lee said.
“The DPP claims it attaches importance to the promotion of young people, when in fact it manifests its distrust of the traditional civil servant system,” he added.
Chao on Friday wrote on Facebook that his monthly salary is NT$150,000 after deducting expenses, and expressed the hope that people would give him an opportunity to prove himself.
He also listed his work experience, which includes working as a reporter at the Taipei Times, and being a member of the Thinking Taiwan Foundation established by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and the DPP’s international affairs department.
However, Internet users were divided in their responses, with some expressing support for Chao, while others accused the DPP of nepotism.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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