Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) could be bringing back some uncomfortable questions from Washington for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) about his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore when Chu returns from the US today.
According to sources, the most recent claims by the Ma administration about the meeting are that China brought up the possibility of a meeting in September, indicated that there had been close contact in preparation for the summit for at least two months.
However, the Presidential Office’s official announcement on Nov. 4 that a meeting had been scheduled came only after the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) published an online exclusive the previous night.
The US government was notified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs via the American Institute in Taiwan on Nov. 3 about the meeting, while the Japanese government was informed on Nov. 4, the sources said.
Cheng Li, the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at Brookings Institution in Washington, reportedly said very frankly during Chu’s visit to Brookings that the US was notified very late, “we of course would like for more transparency, more understanding,” and wanted to know why.
That could be the same question that Chu has, the sources said, since he was not notified of the meeting until very late in the arrangements, showing that the KMT chairman is still not within “the core of Ma’s decisionmaking.”
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