concerned about A-bian
By Lee Hsin-fang, Shih Hsiu chuan and Jake Chung / Staff
reporters, with staff writer
Chairman of the US House of
Representatives Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Steve Chabot points to a
picture as Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, center, and Democratic Progressive
Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang, right, looks on at the DPP headquarters in
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
US Republican Representative Steve Chabot
met with Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
yesterday to discuss former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) condition.
Chabot and fellow US Representative Eni Faleomavaega visited Chen, who is
serving a 20-year jail sentence for corruption, in Taichung Prison’s Pei Teh
Hospital on Thursday.
Chabot said that during the visit Chen’s hands visibly shook and he stuttered
when he spoke, adding that he and Faleomavaega were very worried about his
Chen has been diagnosed with depression, sleep apnea, non-typical Parkinson’s
disease, a speech disorder and mild cerebral atrophy.
Faleomavaega added that while he is not a doctor, it was evident to him that
Chen was not in good physical condition.
Sources said that Chabot said to Su yesterday during their meeting that Chen’s
contribution to the advances of Taiwanese democracy should not be forgotten.
Chabot said that as Chen’s friend, he was worried and said that Chen’s human
rights should be respected.
Chabot said that because he has no right to interfere in Taiwan’s judicial
procedures, he was merely offering his personal viewpoint.
In response to media queries after a meeting with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng
(王金平) yesterday afternoon, Chabot said that US representatives cannot tell
Taiwan what to do, but “we think there is a humanitarian way to resolve the
situation, and we would like to see that happen.”
“Ultimately, it’s up to the leadership in Taiwan to make that decision,” he
Separately yesterday, French political economist Guy Sorman, said in a speech in
Taipei, hosted by former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Thinking Taiwan
Foundation, that he was sad to see that as a democratic country, Taiwan has
imprisoned a former president.
Sorman said that he was not familiar with the case and has no intention of
interfering in Taiwanese politics, but added that he hopes that the nation’s
democratic achievements could serve as a model for China.