Kerry, Siew meeting a boost: King


WASHINGTON — A meeting between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou’s representative, Vincent Siew, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is a boost to bilateral ties, R.O.C. representative to the U.S. King Pu-tsung said Sunday.

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

During the meeting, Siew also called for the signing of a bilateral investment agreement with the U.S. 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 U.S.

He made the remarks shortly after attending a flag-raising ceremony in Washington held by Taiwanese expatriates to celebrate R.O.C. National Day, which falls on Oct. 10.

He also said he will give a clear explanation to Taiwanese expatriates about the development of political issues in Taiwan.

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

King was referring to the fallout from a high-profile influence peddling case that has implicated several political heavyweights, including Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT).

The KMT, in which Ma serves concurrently as 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 U.S. congressmen and scholars 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.