The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday protested to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the party’s exclusion from the itinerary of a visiting US congressional delegation.
“Since the ministry did not inform the DPP of the visit, the DPP could not arrange a meeting between the delegation and DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌),” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.
The ministry told the party it was a careless mistake and vowed that it would not happen again, Lin said.
According to a press release from the ministry, US Senator James Inhofe, who is co-chair of the US Senate Taiwan Caucus, led a 19-member delegation, including Senator John Boozman and US representatives Vern Buchanan, Erik Paulsen and Steve Pearce, on a visit to Taiwan on Tuesday and yesterday.
The delegation met President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), National Security Council Secretary-General Jason Yuan (袁健生) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
This was not the first time the DPP has made such complaint.
Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), executive director of the DPP’s Policy Research Committee and the party’s US representative, has recently mentioned several similar incidents.
Wu, who served as Taiwan’s representative to the US during the DPP administration, said the DPP administration always made sure that US delegations met with the then-opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) so that “visitors are able to listen to voices from both sides.”
Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠), director of the DPP’s Department of International Affairs, said the party learned of the visit from a newspaper report and has begun to inquire about future visits “so that we won’t be left out again.”