The Executive Yuan passed draft amendments to the Organization Act of Diplomatic Missions, allowing up to 10 additional political appointees to overseas missions. Some question this amendment as opening the door to cronyism, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded that the current diplomatic corps is overly focused on international politics, but diplomacy in the modern world involves many other emerging issues.
The Executive Yuan has passed draft amendments to the Organization Act of Diplomatic Missions that will allow one of the two deputy chiefs of select overseas missions to become political appointees. MOFA said that Taiwan's diplomatic missions to the US, Japan, the EU, and the WTO are the only offices to which this amendment could apply, and emphasized that the goal of this measure is to improve the flexibility of staffing in missions.
==WU CHIH-CHUNG Dep. Minister of Foreign Affairs==
We are creating politically appointed representatives because of our unique diplomatic situation. The international environment is a fast-changing one, and we are facing many emerging issues and challenges. So more diverse ways of thinking are needed in response.
However, former representative to the US Cheng Chien-jen said that political appointees may be unfamiliar with diplomatic work and that the amendment is unfair to senior diplomats.
==CHENG CHIEN-JEN Former Representative to the US==
After new governments take office, a lot of them want to do something new, and they try with new ideas in every field. I don't know what MOFA is thinking right now, but I want to remind them that this is unfair to career diplomats.
Cheng said that, for the long-term development of foreign relations, diplomacy should be as free from political interference as possible. The draft amendments still have to be passed by the Legislative Yuan, and MOFA has been instructed to start building support for the amendment with the caucuses.
Translated by JOHN CHEN
記者 陳佳鑫 張梓嘉 台北報導
POLITICAL APPOINTEES TO DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS QUESTIONED AS CRONYISM|外館處將增設政務公使 遭疑變相安插人事
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