US welcomed appointment of Ma’s ‘confidant’: King

EXPERIENCED::King said the US also appreciated his appointment because of his experience in serving as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secretary-general

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Dec 28, 2012 - Page 3

Characterizing himself as a representative of Taiwan who facilitated “communication without noise,” Representative to Washington King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said in an interview aired yesterday that the US had “very much welcomed” his appointment.

King had an interview with Hit FM radio at 7pm on Wednesday after a seven-and-a-half-hour question-and-answer session at the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.

The interview was broadcast yesterday morning.

After about three weeks in office in Washington, King returned to Taiwan to brief the committee on the state and future prospects of US-Taiwan relations.

King said that during his three weeks in office he visited more than 20 senior US government officials and 24 members of Congress and senators in the US Congress.

“They [the US] very much welcomed my appointment” because he is a “close confidant” of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his appointment reflected the high degree of importance Ma has attached to Taiwan-US relations, King said.

“But there are both advantages and disadvantages,” he said.

King said that he is able to deliver Ma’s message to the US precisely, but that the US takes whatever he says as Ma’s exact stance and so he needs to express himself in a way that leaves no room for differing interpretations.

“I have to be cautious not to make mistakes. For me, there is no buffer zone,” he said.

King said that he was also welcomed by the US because of his experience in serving as secretary-general of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) between December 2009 and January last year.

“That helps shorten the distance. When I told them about the experiences, they said: ‘You know politics,’” King said.

In response to a question regarding the role of the US in Ma’s cross-strait policies, King said he was often asked by US officials to explain the concern repeatedly voiced by Democratic Progressive Party members, who said that the Ma administration’s cross-strait policies lean too much toward China.