The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday reiterated that opposition parties have had few opportunities to meet with foreign delegations since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office.
The statement came after KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) in a radio interview on Wednesday said that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has on multiple occasions neglected to arrange meetings for opposition politicians with US delegations and visitors from other nations.
No arrangements had been made for KMT members to meet with former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg, who have been in Taiwan since Wednesday, Chiang said.
DPP spokeswoman Hsieh Pei-fen (謝佩芬) yesterday called on Chiang to apologize for making accusations “without evidence,” saying that KMT Legislator Charles Chen (陳以信) told reporters that he had received an invitation to meet with the delegation.
Local media reported that the US delegation was to meet with lawmakers across party lines yesterday afternoon.
Chen, who is vice chair of the legislature’s USA Caucus, said he had accepted the invitation from the American Institute in Taiwan in his personal capacity and that he would not be participating on behalf of the KMT.
However, at the time of the invitation, he was not aware that the meeting would be attended by important US visitors, Chen said.
The nature of the meeting was “completely different” from an exchange with political parties, the KMT said, accusing the DPP of trying to “shift the focus.”
During former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, the government tried its best to arrange for foreign guests or delegations to meet with the ruling and opposition parties, as well as relevant think tanks, to help the international community understand different views within Taiwan, the KMT said.
Since Tsai took office, visits by foreign guests have largely focused on meeting with government agencies, the KMT said, adding that it would be “anti-democratic” for the DPP or the Tsai administration to limit opportunities for the nation to showcase the whole range of its democracy to the world.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang
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