Taiwan foreign ministry clears top official of controversial travel

Authorities won't confirm the authenticity of the telegrams used by the KMT officials to accuse Su Jia-chyuan of taking a trip to Indonesia for personal gains in 2017

MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou. (Photo courtesy of Newtalk/NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) declined on Tuesday to confirm or deny publicly the authenticity of a document alleging that Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), secretary-general to the president, and his nephew Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) took a trip to Indonesia for personal gains in 2017, a MOFA official said.

Speaking at a press conference, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) was responding to accusations made by the opposition Kuomintang (KMT, 國民黨) which cited a telegram allegedly sent by Taiwan’s representative office in Indonesia to MOFA on Dec. 20, 2017.

Ou said that the MOFA has never authenticated the telegrams and expressed the belief that national documents should not be used for political disputes. The ministry added that even with political pressure, they will refrain from releasing further information.

According to the telegram, the younger Su visited Indonesia in August 2017 along with high-level managers of several government-owned enterprises. They allegedly met with influential Indonesian government officials, without prior notifications to MOFA and the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, 經濟部) in Taiwan.

One month later, the aforesaid legislator again visited Indonesia, this time with Su Jia-chyuan, who was the speaker of the Legislative Yuan at that time. They refused assistance and participation offered by Taiwan’s representative office during their stay, the telegram read.

In response to the accusations, Su Chen-ching said that he has hired a lawyer to sue the KMT officials who made these “false claims.” His lawyer, Fang Yen-huei (房彥輝), arrived in court on Tuesday to file a civil lawsuit against KMT officials Wang Yu-min (王育敏), Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) and Yu Shu-hui (游淑慧).

Fang also showed Su Jia-chyuan’s travel record which revealed that he had not traveled to Indonesia. Su Chen-ching added that the KMT’s documents are fabricated and announced that he would, thus, press forward with his civil suit.