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Envoy to US returns to arrange hushed visit by American guest

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the United States, King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), came back to Taipei confidentially to final arrange a distinguished U.S. guest's visit to Taiwan, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday.

 King's return aroused discussions over his relocation from the U.S. ambassador to the National Security Council (NSC, 國安會) head, while he is actually in Taipei for a sensitive diplomatic project between Taiwan and the U.S., said MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安).

 Kao didn't provide further details as to the project. However, it's reported that a non-political U.S. celebrity invited by King is to visit Taiwan and would have a meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou directly this Friday if everything goes as planned, according to local media.

 A diplomat said that the legislative Yuan had asked King to come back during Christmas holidays to address reports on Taiwan–United States relations.

“The coming-back yesterday has nothing to do with this case, but is to final confirm details of a distinguished U.S. guest's visit to Taiwan,” he said. He added that Raymond F. Burghardt (薄瑞光), chairman of the Board of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT, 美國在台協會), was also notified of the news, and would comment on Taiwan–United States relations after meeting with President Ma tomorrow.

 According to local media, legislators are being kept in the dark because of the risk associated with disclosure of the identity of the upcoming guest. As King appeared during Burghardt's visit to Taiwan, chances are that there may be a significant breakthrough in Taiwan–United States relations.

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