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Taiwan People's Party VP candidate scrutinized over citizenship comment

Cynthia Wu says US citizenship is 'a matter between me and the US government'

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Cynthia Wu. 

Cynthia Wu.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The response of Taiwan People's Party (TPP) vice presidential candidate Cynthia Wu (吳欣盈) to a question about her status as a U.S. citizen has raised eyebrows.

When asked by the media on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 29) whether she had renounced her U.S. citizenship, which is required by law for Taiwanese politicians to hold office, Wu said she gave it up "a long time ago," reported SET News. She then said, "This is a matter between me and the U.S. government."

Wednesday night, Wu said that she had already renounced her U.S. citizenship several years ago and did not relinquish it just because of the election. She said she hates the spread of fake news during elections and it is wrong to ask her to "dance along."

Kuomintang (KMT) Taoyuan City Councilor Ling Tao-jen (凌濤認) was cited by SET as saying that she would prefer to believe that this is just another unfounded controversy, but if TPP presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) "were to nominate a vice presidential candidate who had not renounced her (U.S.) citizenship, it would be truly earth-shattering." Ling asked, "The TPP has always emphasized reason and science, but you can't confirm information and personal background?"

Ling added, "The key point is the attitude." In response to Wu's claim that, "This is a matter between me and the U.S. government," Ling said this is a matter for Taiwan.

On the program "Face News" Wednesday evening, host Hsieh Chen-wu (謝震武) responded to Wu's statement by asking, "How could it be about your relationship with the U.S. government?" Hsieh said, "You want to be elected the vice president of our (Taiwan), so this of course has something to do with us. Can't I ask about it? I can't understand why this matter was not answered directly and openly. Can someone tell me why this question is so difficult to answer?"

In a Wednesday press release, the Central Election Commission (CEC) said each group of candidates submitted a letter of authorization for verification of nationality during the registration process. The CEC on Nov. 27 also requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist in the verification process in accordance with the law.

The CEC said it is currently reviewing candidate qualifications. It will hold a meeting before Dec. 5 to review presidential and vice presidential candidates and announce qualified candidates for the election on Dec. 15.