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Busy schedule keeps King from giving report: MOFA

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S., King Pu-tsung (金溥聰), will not be fielding questions in the Legislature next Monday as originally demanded by lawmakers, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

MOFA spokesperson Anna Kao (高安) said that because of “tight schedules,” King was unable to return to Taiwan as requested by lawmakers to attend a session of the Legislator's Foreign and National Defense Committee.

MOFA informed the committee yesterday morning that King won't be able to field questions as requested, she said.

Kao noted that King returned to Washington on Dec. 17 following a brief trip to Taipei last week, adding that he has many important Taiwan-U.S. projects that he needs to deal with as well as other important public duties in Washington that prevent him from coming back to Taiwan again so soon.

King's decision to not attend the legislative session on Monday has drawn strong fire from opposition lawmakers, who accuse the envoy of contempt of the Legislature.

The committee's convener, Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said King previously requested a delay of his questioning until Jan. 6. However, there won't be any legislative committee sessions at that time, and so Chiu said she refused to accept the proposal.

Chiu had suggested that King should field questions on Dec. 16 instead when the envoy was still in Taipei. However, the proposal was rejected by King, she said.

The DPP lawmaker said she wouldn't accept King's request of not attending the session. The DPP legislative caucus will launch “responsive measures” if he does not show up at the Legislative Yuan next Monday, she said.

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