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September 25, 2017

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Chang's case does not affect cross-strait talks: Jiang

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said the alleged leaking of confidential information by former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) is a single case, stressing that it does not mean the mechanism of cross-strait communication should be questioned.

Jiang said that a public servant should never leak any confidential information to another party, stressing that "any public servant that is involved in such an incident should not be tolerated."

Given that the new legislative session is expected to start by mid-September, many have raised concerns that the Chang incident may affect the progress of several cross-strait related bills in the Legislative Yuan.

During a media briefing yesterday afternoon, Jiang said the Executive Yuan has prioritized the bills that it hopes will be deliberated in the new legislative sessions, including the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, a draft bill on cross-strait agreement supervision and the bill on Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs).

The premier said that the FEPZs bill has been fully discussed in the Legislative Yuan, and he hopes the lawmakers can arrange deliberation sessions at the legislative committee for the bill as soon as possible.

Jiang went on to say that he hopes the progress of the cross-strait service trade pact and the cross-strait agreement supervisory act in the Legislative Yuan will not be affected by the Chang case.

Jiang Disapproves of Legislature Boycott

In response to opposition lawmakers' remarks that some of them may prevent Jiang from taking the podium when delivering his policy report during the upcoming legislative session, Jiang said it is inappropriate to boycott him before he delivers the report.

Jiang said he is obliged to deliver his report at the beginning of every new legislative session, as stipulated in the R.O.C. Constitution, stressing that it is also lawmakers' obligation to question him during the following interpellation session.

Lawmakers are entitled to ask the premier anything, including questions about the Chang case, Jiang said, noting that he and MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) will explain matters regarding Chang's incident during the upcoming interpellation session.

Jiang Speaks on Chang Case

During the media briefing, reporters asked why Jiang and Wang would want to transfer Chang to a state-owned enterprise to serve as chairman even though they knew the former MAC deputy minister was surrounded by controversy. Jiang responded by saying that Wang at that time did not have sufficient evidence to accuse Chang of anything.

According to Jiang, Wang reasoned that Chang had a family to take care of so they wanted to transfer Chang to a position in a state-owned company. He added that Wang's idea was never carried out as planned.

The premier further defended his and Wang's decision, saying that it was made as per standard procedure. Jiang said when he was still Interior Minister, he also urged former Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) Yeh Shih-wen (葉世文) to retire from the post after he received a complaint about Yeh.

Officials are not prosecutors, they cannot investigate but can only transfer questionable public servants to other positions, Jiang said.

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