This undated file photo shows the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
BEIJING – A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Friday said disclosed money paid to the United States by the Taiwan authorities is only "tip of the iceberg."
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily press briefing that he wondered how much money the Taiwan authorities have squandered to "honor" the United States.
The Democratic Progressive Party authorities have paid $140,000 in service fees to political lobbying agents for pulling strings to get former US leader to receive Tsai Ing-wen's phone call, according to media reports
According to media reports, Taiwan's foreign affairs office admitted that it had long been the island's practice to employ public relations companies in the United States to help consolidate Taiwan-US ties. The Democratic Progressive Party authorities have paid $140,000 in service fees to political lobbying agents for pulling strings to get former US leader to receive Tsai Ing-wen's phone call. They also paid lobbyists to organize the attendance by Taiwan's representative at the inauguration of US government officials.
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"We have noticed that the Taiwan authorities only admitted to this and disclosed the figures after being probed by the press," Wang said. "In fact, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the big bucks paid to the United States."
Wang noted, citing media reports, that US politicians like former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pocketed $150,000 for a four-day visit to Taiwan, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham openly asked the Taiwan authorities to buy Boeing airplanes worth 8 billion US dollars while visiting Taiwan.
"How much of Taiwan people's hard-earned money have the DPP authorities squandered for such activities?" Wang asked.
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Noting the United States claimed there was so-called "political infiltration" against the United States, Wang said he wondered what the US attitude is to such activities, and if any punitive action will be taken.