Okay, a little more on Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian's meeting with Neil Bush, the president's brother, during a brief visit to New York City recently.
Opposition leader James Soong, formerly of the Kuomintang (KMT) and now Chairman of the People First Party, has accused President Chen of paying $1 million to have a meeting with Mr. Bush.
(A little background is necessary here: because the US has no official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, meetings with US political leaders are highly coveted by members of the Taiwanese government.)
It's not clear from the news reports what direct evidence Soong had for his charges. But part of the evidence he put forward was an overture allegedly made to the head of the KMT Lien Chan. "A broker for the [Bush] family member told Lien he could meet with the US president's brother if he was willing to pay US$1 million. I believe Chen was well received by the US because he paid the money," Soong said.
Representatives of President Chen have roundly denied the charges and refuse even to discuss whether he met with Bush under any circumstances. And a spokesman for the president has said the the airing of the charge is an affront to the Bush family.
Now this update from Taiwan News ...
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Parris Chang, who along with Chien accompanied President Chen for his U.S. and Panama trip, confirmed that the president had indeed met Neil Bush, but the summit had nothing to do with Neil Bush's older brother George Bush.
"The opposition party is simply too desperate (for the presidential election). The accusation is extremely ridiculous," Chang said.
He explained that a Taiwanese businessman based in Houston arranged the summit for President Chen, and revealed that no deal was made behind the meeting.
"I don't think the summit has anything to do with his brother. President Bush would probably send government officials from the State Department, if he really wants to deliver a message to President Chen," Chang said.
In addition, DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung held a press conference yesterday morning to criticize the PFP accusation as inaccurate and potentially damaging to bilateral ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.
Who's the 'Taiwanese businessman based in Houston'?