Monday, August 11, 2008

KMT to Send Delegations to U.S. Conventions

Taipei Times revealed today that KMT delegations will be dispatched to attend the two U.S. party conventions next month:

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will dispatch two five-member delegations to the Democratic National Convention and Republican National Convention in the US later this month and early next month respectively, a senior party official said yesterday.

In a recent meeting, the KMT decided that Deputy Legislative Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) will lead the delegation to the 2008 Democratic conference to be held in Denver, Colorado, between Aug. 25 and Aug. 28.Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), a KMT vice chairman, will head the delegation to the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota, from Sept. 1 through Sept. 4.

The purpose of the US party conventions is to officially nominate the party’s candidate for president and to adopt the party’s platform and rules. Since Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have already locked up their candidacies for the Democratic and Republican parties respectively, the choices of their running mates will be the focus of the conventions.

A senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said that traditionally, the ministry does not dispatch delegations to the US party conventions, although high-ranking officials of Taiwan’s representative office to the US usually observe them.

KMT legislators Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), Justin Chou (周守訓), John Wu (吳志揚) and Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) are members of the delegation to the Democratic convention, while Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), Alex Tsai (蔡正元), Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) and Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) will attend the Republican event.The Democratic Progressive Party will also send delegations to both conventions.

What the story didn't mention were the sponsors or preps that went into to arranging the delegations. In 2004, the National Democratic Institute invited a DPP delegation, led by Secretary General Liu Shi-fang and then-legislator Bih-Khim Hsiao to the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Taiwan Solidarity Union Secretary-general Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislators Yao Eng-chi (饒穎奇) and Kwan Yuk-noan (關沃暖) and representatives of the People First Party will attended the event.

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