Surprise envoy protects Taiwan's 'shield' of ambiguity
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou startled friends and rivals by making his closest adviser "ambassador" to the United States on a mission to prove that the island is still a key ally.
Mr King Pu-Tsung, was considered the power behind the Taiwanese throne as the president's election strategist and former head of the ruling Kuomintang party.
But he has never been a diplomat, and the appointment surprised the US and China - the rival powers who underpin Taiwan's security and economy.
In an interview with AFP, Mr King highlighted the importance of the "strategic ambiguity" that the island of 23 million people maintains with its neighbour, on one side, and protector, on the other.