Taiwan diplomat to face disciplinary commission

Kuo Kuan-ying will leave his job at Taiwan's office in Toronto after uproar over insults

Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), information division director of Taiwan’s representative office in Toronto

People demonstrate in Government Information Office ROC as Diplomat Kuo Kuan-ying being questioned over insulting the country. Last week, opposition D

Diplomat Kuo Kuan-ying will leave his job as head of information chief at Taiwan's office in Toronto and will face a disciplinary commission for civil servants as a result of alleged remarks insulting the country, the Government Information Office decided yesterday. The decision was the result of a meeting between a GIO review committee and Kuo yesterday, after the diplomat was recalled from Canada.
Last week, opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Kuan Bi-ling accused Kuo of having posted articles describing Taiwan as a "ghost island" and native Taiwanese as "redneck" and "Japanese pirates" under the alias of Fan Lan-chin. Kuo denied Fan was his pen name, and the articles were his work. The GIO recalled him to Taiwan for questioning, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded diplomats they were not allowed to publish private political opinions.
Kuo will be transferred to a non-executive position inside Taiwan while the investigation continues, GIO vice director Hsu Chiu-huang announced after yesterday's meeting.
After talking to Kuo, the GIO found differences between his statements and the original information it had been provided with, Hsu said, without elaborating.
Reading a statement, Kuo apologized for the problems to society the articles posted on the blog caused, and acknowledged he was not suited to represent Taiwan overseas. Kuo said he would accept any decision on his fate by the GIO.
The diplomat, who has a long career as a reporter and column writer, maintained his innocence, denying he was Fan while saying only some of his articles had been picked up by Fan's blog. Kuan said at a tearful news conference that she found the GIO's decision unacceptable, adding it was letting the diplomat off the hook. Protesters set off firecrackers outside the GIO to express their demand for the government to speed up its handling of the case and dismiss Kuo.
Earlier, Kuan alleged Kuo used even more aliases to publish articles on the Internet. DPP legislators also raised questions about how Kuo had obtained his posting to Canada, suggesting he had been promoted on the advice of unnamed powerful officials.
Ruling Kuomintang lawmakers also called for a thorough investigation of Kuo's remarks and the blogger's true identity. "If you make remarks against the country overseas, then you are not suitable to represent that country," said KMT legislator Chen Chieh.
Examination President John Kuan told reporters it was essential for civil servants not to express personal political opinions and to maintain impartiality in their work.
Members of the Control Yuan, the nation's top government watchdog, were reportedly also applying to investigate Kuo's case.