Taiwan’s main opposition party to re-establish office in U.S.

Taipei,  The Kuomintang (KMT), Taiwan’s main opposition party, is planning to set up a liaison office in the United States to re-establish its connections with the U.S. government and establishments such as think tanks, a high-level KMT source told CNA on Wednesday.

A preparatory team, to be headed by two deputy secretaries-general of the party, Huang Kwei-bo (黃奎博) and Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀), will be formed to prepare the groundwork for the establishment of the office, the source said.

Huang, currently a professor at National Chengchi University, has served in various positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Mainland Affairs Council, the Ministry of Education and various think tanks.

Lee for her part has served one term as a lawmaker and for several terms as a Taipei City councilor, according to the KMT.

The veteran political party once had a liaison office in the U.S. but it was closed in 2008, after the party regained power with the election of its former Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as president.

The responsibility for coordinating the party’s interactions with Washington was then transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since then, the KMT never reopened the office nor assigned liaison officers in the U.S., even after it lost power in 2016. It has now decided to reopen the office because of the imminent change of administration in the U.S.

According to the source, Huang will be tasked with communicating with U.S. foreign service personnel in Taiwan, while Lee, who is currently on a leave of absence from party work and is in the U.S., will be responsible for building connections with U.S. lawmakers and the overseas Chinese and Taiwanese communities in the U.S.

As to when the office will be ready, the source said there is no timetable as yet due to uncertainties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of party funds.

The KMT has several options regarding the assignment of its representative in the U.S., including finding one locally from within that country, posting a different deputy secretary-general in the U.S. every month, or assigning a permanent representative to the U.S. from Taipei, the source said.

 

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel