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Lawmakers approve a motion to condemn NSC chief for no-show

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Lawmakers yesterday passed a motion to condemn National Security Council (NSC, 國安會) Secretary-General Jason Yuan (袁健生), who was asked to field questions during a legislative session yesterday but did not show up.

Yuan and several senior government officials including the defense minister, foreign minister and National Security Bureau head were asked to attend a session at the Legislature's Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday to report the government's responsive measures on China's recent demarcation of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea.

All other ministers participated yesterday's meeting except Yuan.

Yuan's absence drew heavy condemnation from opposition lawmakers, accusing the NSC head of contempt of the Legislature.

The committee's convener Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said Yuan's attendance was of primary importance because the NSC is the main organization responsible in coordinating related government units in making final decisions on national security issues.

In a 4-3 vote, the committee later passed a motion to condemn Yuan for his failure to attend the session.

In response, Yuan said in a statement that the NSC is an organization established by the president to advise on issues related to national security.

It is “unconstitutional” for him as the NSC chief to report to the Legislative Yuan on issues that are unrelated to the NSC budget, Yuan said in the statement.

For this reason he chose not to attend the committee session.

Yuan also stressed that he has twice called Chiu over the past weekend to express his stance and informed her that he would not attend yesterday's session.

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