The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) declined to comment Friday on a WikiLeaks report of a free trip to Taiwan offered for campaign team members of U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"We will not comment on information from unidentified sources on the Internet," the ministry said.
According to WikiLeaks, John Podesta, chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, met with Shen Lyushun (???), who at the time was Taiwan's representative to the United States, in August 2015.
After the meeting, Podesta mentioned that he would send former Senator Thomas Daschle, who was going to visit Taiwan in November that year, some names of people from the campaign team who "might like a free trip," according to WikiLeaks.
The information showed the exchanges of emails and arrangements for the meeting were made through the Daschle Group, a lobbying company in Washington, D.C. founded by Daschle.
Daschle was a senator from South Dakota, and the majority leader in the Senate at the time. During the Democratic National Convention in July this year, he spoke firmly of his support for Taiwan.
WikiLeaks has recently released several batches of Podesta's emails, and Clinton's campaign camp has said that this was an attempt by Russia to sway the presidential election, but has declined to confirm the authenticity of the content.
Meanwhile, Shen said that he did indeed meet with Podesta, but only to exchange views on Taiwan-U.S. relations.
"We had talks on major issues," Shen said, adding that they would not have bothered talking about trifling matters like free trips.
He said that his responsibility as a representative to the United States was not to let major U.S. political figures hear only China's voice, and to promote Taiwan's importance.
He said he mentioned that Taiwan has surpassed India to become the ninth-largest trade partner of the U.S., which impressed Daschle.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel