Vice foreign minister not close to ex-Singapore PM's son: ministry
Taipei, July 19 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs rebutted rumors Thursday that Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih is in close contact with one of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's sons.
Ministry spokesman Steve Hsia said at a routine press conference that the rumors are "without foundation."
Hsia also said he had no information regarding claims that Lee is dismayed at Shih being too close to his sons and meeting them frequently.
Former ruling Kuomintang Legislator Chang Sho-wen said a day earlier that Shih angered top Singaporean officials during her tenure as representative to Singapore 2009-2012 due to her contacts with Lee's son.
He did not identify which of the two he was referring to. Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is one of Lee's sons.
The relationship between Taiwan and Singapore is "very friendly" and both sides are working toward a bilateral free trade deal, which will be known formally as the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP), the spokesman added.
Also on Wednesday, Control Yuan member Chou Yang-sun held a press conference in which he said that Shih had been "negligent" in her duties when she served as Taiwan's top envoy to Singapore.
Chou did not give further details, only noting that the report will not be published because the contents involve "confidential information."
There have been intensive media reports on the Control Yuan's findings because of rumors that Shih offended the Singapore government last year by making contact with the city-state's opposition party and displaying Taiwan's national flag at a Double Ten National Day celebrationparty.
Despite these controversies, Shih was sworn in as Taiwan's new vice foreign minister earlier this month. In various interviews, Foreign Minister Timothy Yang has said Shih was promoted for her "extraordinary performance."
(By Nancy Liu)ENDITEM/J
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