DPP in process of establishing office in US: party official

Staff writer, with CNA, Washington

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is establishing a representative office in the US, which the party hopes to open in May or June next year, a DPP official said on Friday during a visit to Washington.

The DPP hopes the planned office will be inaugurated before the US Congress goes into recession in August, said Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), the party’s representative to the US.

However, whether the opening can take place as planned will depend on the US authorities, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wu said, adding that in any case, the party will form a group early next year to take charge of organizing the office.

Wu also said that he will arrange for DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to visit the US so that he can preside over the inauguration ceremony of the office.

Wu, who served as Taiwan’s representative to the US during the 2000 to 2008 DPP administration, now heads the DPP’s Policy Research and Coordinating Committee.

He was assigned by Su last month to double as the party’s representative to the US.

The party has not had a representative office in the US since 2000.

Wu traveled to Washington on Monday last week, where he visited think tanks and various US officials.

He said his discussions focused on Taiwan’s economy and that he expressed hope that the US will give weight to Taiwan’s desire to sign free-trade agreements with its trade partners, as well as its bid for entry to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In response, US officials told him that if Taiwan wants to join regional economic bodies, it will have to be prepared to open its markets, Wu said.

Asked about an invitation to meet by King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), Taiwan’s national representative to the US, Wu said he had no time, but appreciated King’s sincerity in offering the meeting.

He said he will visit King during his next trip to the US, adding that he would like to discuss the possibility of his party and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) cooperating on matters concerning Taiwan’s interests.

Despite serving as the DPP’s representative to the US, Wu will not stay permanently in the US.

Instead, he is to make regular visits to inspect the operations of the planned office.

Wu is scheduled to return to Taiwan tomorrow.