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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

KEYSER'S GUILTY PLEA WON'T AFFECT TAIWAN-U.S. RELATIONS: REP OFFICE

ROC Central News Agency

2005-12-13 14:05:38

    Washington, Dec. 12 (CNA) Taiwan's Representative Office in the United States refused Monday to comment on a case related to the guilty plea made in U.S. federal court by a former ranking U.S. official, stressing that the island's relations with the United States will not be affected by the case.

    The office made the remarks after learning that Donald W. Keyser, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state, had entered a guilty plea in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

    Keyser, who was arrested last year by U.S. justice authorities, admitted in court to deliberately concealing from his superiors that he had taken a trip to Taiwan last September and that he had maintained an intimate personal relationship with a female Taiwanese intelligence officer. The former official also admitted that he had taken confidential State Department documents without authorization.

    The court document did not mention whether Keyser had passed on classified files to Taiwan.

    Even though Stanley Kao, Taiwan's deputy representative to the United States, refused to comment on the Keyser's case, a spokesman of Taiwan's representative office said that relations between the island and the United States will continue to be promoted through the current channels and will not be affected by the case.

    David Lee, Taiwan's representative to the United States, is currently in Taiwan to report in person his official duties.

    Meanwhile, a high-ranking official of the office who wished to remain anonymous said that he was shocked by Keyser's sudden guilty plea as the former U.S. official had consistently maintained his innocence.

    Nevertheless, the Taiwan official said that Keyser's personal relationship with the intelligence officer had nothing to do with their work and did not compromise Taiwan or the United States in any way, adding that Taiwan's National Security Bureau has never requested that its staff do anything in an inappropriate way.

    He also said that Taiwan should work to further strengthen its communications with the United States instead of trying to obtain intelligence information from the country, pointing out that the United States is a close ally and that nothing should be done in a surreptitious manner.

    Keyser faces a possible prison sentence of up to 13 years and a maximum fine of US$500,000. The federal court is set to issue its ruling on the case Feb. 24.

    In the meantime, State Department Adam Ereli said, the department does not want to comment on the case.

(By Oliver Lin, Jorge Liu and P.C. Tang)

Enditem/Li



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