Siew-Kerry meeting a boost to bilateral ties: King

Staff writer, with CNA in WASHINGTON

Tue, Oct 08, 2013 - Page 3

A meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) at the APEC forum is a boost to bilateral ties, Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) said yesterday.

Kerry and Siew met in Bali, Indonesia, yesterday to discuss steps the two sides are taking to advance their substantive relations.

During the meeting, Siew also called for the signing of a bilateral investment agreement with the US and reiterated Taiwan’s desire to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a regional free-trade bloc.

Asked about the meeting, King said the Kerry-Siew conversation was a boost to Taiwan’s relations with the US. He made the remarks shortly after attending a flag-raising ceremony in Washington held by Taiwanese expatriates to celebrate the Double Ten National Day on Thursday.

He added that he would give brief Taiwanese expatriates about political developments in Taiwan.

Taiwan is a democracy and political issues should be dealt with according to rule of law, he said.

King was referring to the fallout from a high-profile improper influence case that has implicated several senior politicians, including Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The KMT, in which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is also chairman, said Wang brought shame to the party by compromising the independence of the judiciary. The party revoked his membership as punishment, a move condemned by Wang’s supporters in the legislature.

King said he has also explained the situation in Taiwan to US lawmakers and academics, who are concerned about the issue.

He said he is willing to return to Taiwan to make a report on the issue at the legislature, if lawmakers ask him to do so.