Taiwan's representative to the US Chen Chien-jen (
Chen yesterday downplayed KMT Chairman Lien Chan's (
"I know that President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) successful trip would have a positive impact on the campaign for the presidential election next year, and Chen also managed to meet US Secretary of State Colin Powell, so the pan-blue camp seem to be venting their an-ger on me," Chen said.
Chen Chien-jen, who accompanied the president during his stopover in Alaska, yesterday talked to Taiwanese journalists in private, and for the first time he defended himself against the accusations from the pan-blue camp.
"I think Lien and James Soong's (
"I have my principles and judgment and I can walk away from the position at any time. These criticisms do not affect me," he said.
Lien visited Europe and the US last month and during his stay in New York and Washington DC, the aides accompanying Lien criticized Chen for not organizing proper receptions for the KMT chairman.
They also said that Chen "forgot his roots," since he had been trained comprehensively by the KMT.
Lien's wife, Lien Fang Yu (
"Lien planned to visit the US, but he did not notify the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in advance. Lien's aides only told mine about Lien's plan three days before his arrival," Chen said.
He said that there was no regulation saying that a former vice president should be given special treatment, but aides at his office still offered to brief Lien about Taiwan-US relations. Chen and the deputy representative, Michael Tsai (
"Lien told us that the brief was not necessary, so we only arranged the airport reception," Chen said. However, when the KMT said that TECO had a political stand, the party did not mention that Chen met Lien at the airport in person, or the efforts TECO had made for Lien.
Chen responded to this by saying that because Lien gave late notice, his wife Yolanda had to cancel her planned trip to Boston to greet the Lien couple, since she knew Lien's wife very well. However, Lien's wife declined the flowers. Chen said that he could only say he felt sorry about the incident and he saw that sometimes political issues made people twist their principles.
Lien's aides, on the other hand, said that Chen was a heartless person. Chen replied that he knew very well how much Lien had done for him, as well as how much former President Lee Teng-hui (
Regarding rumors that some people were trying to get rid of him as the representative, Chen smiled and said that in the past he had a policy of "three noes": no lying, no misleading and no ignoring those in need. He said that these three principles still served as his motto now.
Chen said that when the president asked him very sincerely to take up the position as Taiwan's representative to the US, he was thinking that the fields of national defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and cross-strait relations lacked competent candidates, and therefore he considered the job opportunity with a positive attitude, and he was still like that now.
He said that some people regarded him too politically, but he would still insist on his own way.