STANDARD PRACTICE:Former minister of foreign affairs Chen Chien-jen said Taipei has invested in Washington lobbyists and the Tsai-Trump call was ‘not without cause’
Date: Dec 08, 2016
By: Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday downplayed reports that the government paid US$140,000
to a consultancy affiliated with former US senator Bob Dole, allegedly in exchange for his efforts to help establish high-level contact between Taiwanese officials and US president-elect Donald Trump’s staff that culminated in a historic telephone call between President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Trump on Friday last week.
Dole has long been a significant friend of Taiwan who has assisted with communications between Taipei and the US Republican Party, the ministry said in a statement.
“The government is grateful for Dole’s strong friendship and adamant support,” the ministry said, declining to comment on a New York Times report that identified Dole as the facilitator of the call.
However, a few hours later, the ministry revised its position on Dole’s reported role, saying that none of the consultancies hired by the government played a part in setting up the call. [FULL STORY]