James C. Wood Jr
Revised 8/28/99

Research by Tallhappy and amom and DSL information on a Timeline:

From amom:

Asian Americans for Campaign Finance Reform Asian American for Campaign Finance Reform (AACFR) is a national committee made up of Asian Americans concerned about the corrupting influence of big and foreign money on the political life of Asian American communities and on American democracy 4. We do not believe the way to gain political access and empowerment for Asian Americans is to make end-runs and find quick-fixes through huge financial contributions from questionable sources in Asian countries, as some Asian American leaders have argued in defense of John Huang. Neither do we believe the big donors from Asia had, at heart, the interests and welfare of Asian Americans who are poor, disadvantaged, and discriminated against when they agreed to make contributions in six figures. Instead, most of these wealthy donors were interested only in buying and advancing their personal, business or national interests in the U.S., as can be seen readily from public statements and newspaper reports from newspapers in Asian countries. Other than a small handful of well-connected Asian Americans, we fail to see how Asian American interests are being served in these machinations.


Freeper Tallhappy 8/27/99 "…Also, James Wood, the Clintonite named head of the American Institute in Taiwan to shake down Taiwanese for campaign cash also made it a point to push them to drop Cassidy Tate and sign on with a firm of Wood's cronies -- which means Clinton cronies. Wood was turned down…."

1998 American Resource Center "…Mr. Wood is an attorney with extensive experience in Congressional, Executive Branch, and international government relations. He has both government and private sector experience in negotiation with foreign governments and on international trade issues and commercial ventures. and he was involved in developing long-term relationships for the New York Stock Exchange with China and Russia. Among Mr. Wood's earlier governmental positions were Legal Counsel to a Senate Subcommittee on the Judiciary, Chief Legal Counsel for the Office of Foreign Missions, Department of State; Chief Counsel for Legislation, Small Business Administration; Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Legal Advisor, Department of State; and Legal Advisor at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany…"

Agence France Presse 9/18/95 "….The State Department confirmed Friday that two of three trustees of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), David Dean and Bruce Clark, had resigned, without comment on their reasons for stepping down. One of the resignations reportedly came in protest at Washington's plan to replace current AIT director Natale Bellocchi, the third board member, with James Wood, a political appointee without diplomatic experience. Dean, 70 and a retired foreign service officer, said Bellochi's reported replacement "has no background whatsoever in Chinese affairs." "I expressed my concern to the State Department, but they went ahead with the (planned) appointment, so I felt I had to resign," he said….. The AIT was established in 1979 to oversee US-Taiwan relations after Washington recognized Beijing instead of Taipei…"

11/5/95 Capitol Hill Reports "….Senator Jesse Helms, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, in a letter to Secretary of State Warren Christopher, expressed his concern about the appointment of James C. Wood to the AIT Board of Trustees. In particular, Senator Helms questioned whether Wood had sufficient experience in Asia-Pacific issues... According to the materials provided by State, James C. Wood has been an attorney in private practice specializing in international and trade issues and commercial ventures since he left the State Department in 1984. At State since 1975, except for a brief stint at the Small Business Administration, Wood served as Chief Legal Counsel in the Office of Foreign Missions where he worked principally on land use, trade and tax issues. His experience in a foreign mission was limited to two years in Germany. Wood's experience in government affairs includes volunteer work in the Clinton/Gore campaign. Wood received his BA and JD from the University of Arkansas…."

South China Morning Post 12/20/95 "…James Wood, an Arkansas lawyer roundly criticised for having no credentials for the key posting, admitted yesterday: "This job is without question a political appointment - that's not open to debate." But he said his business credentials would bring new qualities to the job his predecessors did not have. Taiwanese officials and the media are concerned that Mr Wood will be the first chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan who is not a career foreign service officer with special knowledge of China issues. There has also been astonishment within Washington circles that Mr Wood, said to be a close friend of several Clinton administration officials, had pushed aside the former chairman, Nat Bellocchi, a long-standing State Department China expert. One institute source was quoted by the Washington Times as saying that Mr Bellocchi was "unceremoniously dumped" and that Mr Wood, who helped President Bill Clinton's 1992 election campaign, got the job as a "payoff". But about former chief of staff Mack McLarty, one of the Clinton aides said to have helped him land the job which pays US$ 125,000 (HK$ 966,000) a year, Mr Wood said: "I've met Mack, but I don't socialise" with him. ….He may, however, find that he has to respond soon, as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms, furious that he was not consulted on the appointment, is planning to hold a hearing on the institute's role. The new chairman will work from the institute's Washington headquarters. Mr Wood, who said he had been to Taiwan "two or three times" in his work representing business clients, has worked before in the Department of State and as legal counsel on congressional committees…."

South China Morning Post 12/21/95 "…As the full posse of Taiwanese correspondents gathered at the American Institute in Taiwan's (AIT) headquarters to grill James Wood about his supposed lack of credentials for the job, one of his handlers announced some annoying ground rules. Not only would Mr Wood not answer any questions on the United States' China policy, but television cameras would have to be shut off after his opening statement. It sounded more like a press conference by the artist formerly known as Prince, and true to form, the aide at one point placed his hands over a lens after a cameraman ignored warnings to stop filming. Undeterred, the reporters' questions came thick and fast, and Mr Wood, his voice cushioned in a slow Arkansas drawl, did his best to avoid answering any of them….Understanding the sub-text of Mr Wood's answers was almost as difficult as deciphering that of the questions. "I have met Mack, but I do not socialise with Mack," he said. "I've not been to his house and he has not been to my house. And our wives do not know each other." The cryptic "wives" remark - repeated for similar allegations regarding his friendship with Under Secretary of State Dick Moose - only makes sense when one takes into account the background of Mr Wood's appointment. Rumours have been rife in Washington that Taiwan-friendly officials are furious that Mr Wood has been handed the plum, US$ 125,000 (about HK$ 966,000) a year job, ousting the popular incumbent Nat Bellocchi for no other reason than he is a Democrat who knows the right folks in the Clinton administration….. Wood doesn't speak the language. He doesn't have the background or experience. He's a personal friend of Dick Moose. It's payoff, payoff, payoff." …"

South China Morning Post 12/21/95 "… THE idea that the White House might appoint a political crony to a nice diplomatic job is hardly earth shattering. The Clinton administration, like its predecessors, has filled a good proportion of foreign embassies with its friends, rather than career diplomats. Even in Beijing, a key post, the old boys network turned up James Sasser, a man with no China experience except an occasional Senate vote on Most Favoured Nation status (to give Mr Sasser credit, he did head up to Harvard for a crash course in Putonghua). But the Wood incident does shed some light on just how brazen and clumsy such appointments can be, to the point of jeopardising delicate relationships with foreign governments. Even at a time when the one-China policy of 15 years is looking decidedly shaky - and when Congress is exerting immense pressure on the administration to loosen the rules on relations with Taipei - the White House had no qualms about removing a sure pair of hands in Mr Bellocchi to replace them with a man whose links to Taiwan extend to having visited there "two or three times" on business… The appointment also caused a rift within the AIT ranks, prompting the resignation of one board member, David Dean, the institute's first director in 1979….. He was formerly a lawyer, with some of his work involving clients doing business in Asia. One of his jobs involved negotiating the relationship between the New York and Chinese stock exchanges, according to the AIT. Mr Wood has also done the rounds in Washington, as legal counsel to a Senate sub-committee, the foreign missions section in the State Department, and the Small Business Administration. But one Washington Times article put a question mark over his State Department stint. It quoted James Noland, ex-director of the foreign missions office, as saying Mr Wood was asked to resign in 1984. "His work was not satisfactory and I asked him to leave," he said. "I don't want to go beyond that." Mr Wood declined to explain what Mr Noland might have meant, saying only that he was proud of his performance while in that job…."

March 12, 1996
Headlines were about China's continued tensions with its Asian neighbors, especially Taiwan - by China's firing M-9 ballistic missiles, carrying dummy warheads into target zones 30 miles off the shore of Taiwan

March 14, 1996

Clinton reversed Christopher's decision, overruling both the State Department and the Pentagon - which wanted to keep sharp limits on China's ability to launch American made satellites using Chinese rockets - and turned oversight of granting permissions for such launches to Commerce, which was in favor of permitting them. The New York Times, 5/17/98

March 21, 1996
Charlie Trie met with Mark Middleton and gave him a letter that outlined a number of views regarding the Taiwan Strait crisis which was brewing at the time. A witness informed the House Committee that Trie was "terribly concerned" over possible incidents between the United States and China over Taiwan. According to this witness, Trie spoke of having talked to "people in the White House and National Security Council about the danger of confronting China over Taiwan." Middleton faxed Trie’s letter to the White House, and on the cover page, informed the White House staff that "[a]s you likely know, Charlie is a personal friend of the President from L.R. He is also a major supporter." Trie’s letter received a response from President Clinton just one month later. The response, in relevant part, stated that the U.S. action "was intended as a signal to both Taiwan and the PRC that the United States was concerned about maintaining stability in the Taiwan Strait region. It was not intended as a threat to the PRC." Trie’s letter and the Administration’s response to it were handled by several high-level national security staffers, including National Security Advisor Anthony Lake and staffer Robert Suettinger.

July 22, 1996
At a John Huang organized fundraising dinner held in Century City, California, Huang earned the praise of President Clinton in front of the constituency. Although Huang fell short of the $1 million goal, President Clinton said, "And I’d like to thank my longtime friend, John Huang . . . Frankly he’s been so effective, I was amazed that you were all cheering for him tonight after he’s been around, his aggressive efforts to help our cause."... According to DNC fundraiser Chong Lo, a large group of Taiwanese government officials and businessman also attended this event. This delegation originally was scheduled to attend an event the next day in San Francisco organized by the Lotus Fund. However, Charlie Trie and John Huang intervened and persuaded Norman Young, Vice Chairman of the Lotus Fund, to have the delegation attend the event in Century City instead. This delegation’s political contribution allegedly came from Taiwan through California National Bank in San Francisco. The House Committee has not been able to identify the Taiwanese government officials or businessmen who attended the event. See LA Times 5/12/97 James Risen

July 30, 1996
John Huang organized an intimate gathering of four wealthy businessmen, their families, and President Clinton. Three of the wealthy businessmen were not American citizens, and all four lived in Asia. Included in the group was Huang’s former employer, James Riady. Also attending were Eugene Wu, Chairman of the Shinkong Group in Taiwan; James Lin, Chairman of Ennead Inc. in Taiwan; and, Ken Hsui, an executive at Prince Motors and Cosmos Bank in Taiwan. Ken Hsui, who contributed $150,000 towards the event, is the only U.S. citizen in the group of dinner attendees. Once at the event, the attendees all had their pictures taken with the President. Although the event was videotaped by the White House Communications Agency, not all of the remarks were covered. The President did speak about the next APEC meeting and his decision to send U.S. Air Force carriers to the Taiwan straits. The issue was important to the Taiwanese, who were threatened by China’s "missile testing" directed towards Taiwan. The dinner organized by Huang appeared to be a favor for James Riady. Huang, although no longer working for Lippo, rented a limousine and picked up the Riadys at National Airport; the bill was charged to the Lippo Group at the Los Angeles address. It is unusual for a DNC fundraiser to go to such lengths for someone who is unable to contribute. In addition, the three businessmen who attended the dinner were a group of the wealthiest men in Taiwan and perhaps prospective or current business partners. Hsui, a U.S. citizen, Lin, and Wu all declined requests for meetings in Taiwan with Committee staff and James Riady has refused to cooperate with investigators.

10/29/96 CNN Brooks Jackson "…In a related development, the U.S. Justice Department is looking into allegations that James C. Wood, the U.S. envoy to Taiwan, pressured businessmen there to contribute to President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign. Justice Department spokesman Bert Brandenberg told CNN: "The State Department referred the matter to us and we are reviewing it." He said the Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, which looks at claims of election law violations, is reviewing the allegations about Wood, which were first reported in Newsweek. They were referred last June to the inspector general's office of the State Department, which then referred them to Justice. Brandenberg indicated that at this stage it was a preliminary review to see whether a full-fledged investigation is needed. He said there was no deadline for deciding whether to pursue it further. One law enforcement source who asked not to be identified noted that in the past, some allegations of election law violations have failed to prove substantial enough to warrant further investigation. …."

11/1/96 FRED BRANFMAN "…. Pat Choate was for many years a highly respected economic policy analyst whose advice was sought by both Democrats and Republicans. His controversial 1990 book, "Agents of Influence," was a damning indictment of the role of foreign — especially Japanese — financial lobbying in American politics. In your book, you predicted that foreign interests would spend as much money on U.S. political campaigns as the Republican and Democratic parties. It has happened. Foreign influence has gone beyond simple policy-making into the election process itself. Other nations that have a tradition of bribery can now come into our political system and do the same. ….. Let's take another example of what's for sale: the Taiwanese connection. What you have is an old-time pal of Clinton from Arkansas representing the U.S. liaison mission [James C. Wood, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan] there, who is really serving as our Ambassador. And he takes John Huang [an official with the Democratic National Committee] and a fund-raiser who had just left the White House, and they go and shake down Taiwanese business people for campaign contributions. They did it last spring when we were having trouble with the Chinese, who wanted two things. They wanted American ships in the area, which they got. And they wanted a statement in the platform of the Democratic Party that we would keep ships in the China Sea. And they got that. The sad thing is that our guys are not only crooks, but they're incompetent crooks who don't even know how to price their services…."

November 16, 1996
Clinton admits discussing policy issues with Indonesian businessman James Riady but claims Riady never influenced Clinton's decisions. In an interview with The New York Times, the president also said the Democratic National Committee's decision to send John Huang to raise money in Taiwan for 1996 campaigns was a mistake.

12/13/96 Arkansas Times "…The top American representative in Taiwan told local business people they should reward Clinton during his reelection campaign for policies favoring Taiwan. Newsweek reported James C. Wood Jr. then steered them to John Huang. Wood, a native Arkansan who has been out of the state for three decades, is head of the American Institute in Taipei. An aide to Taiwanese presidential candidate Lin Yang-kang told The Washington Post that, during a meeting with Lin, former White House aide Mark Middleton asked the candidate indirectly to make a contribution to Clinton's presidential campaign…."

Central News Agency 1/18/97 Bill Wang & Debbie Kuo "…James C. Wood Jr., chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), submitted his resignation to the AIT Board of Trustees on Friday. With a copy of the resignation being sent to US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Wood's resignation took effect immediately. In a dialogue with CNA, Wood said he quit because he has been appointed to another post in the Clinton Administration. He, however, did not elaborate. His successor, meanwhile, will not be announced until the new secretary of state, Madeline Albright, takes office, Wood noted. …. Unlike his predecessors, who were all "China hands" with professional diplomatic backgrounds, Wood, a lawyer from Arkansas, was the first politically-appointed AIT chairman. …. Last year, Wood was accused of pressuring Taiwan businessmen for contributions to President Bill Clinton's reelection campaign. Wood denied the accusation, saying that all he has done is tell Taiwan businessmen to strengthen economic relations with the United States, including increasing investment in America. Wood, who assumed his AIT chairman post on Dec. 18, 1995, became an American liaison officer with Taiwan with the shortest working tenure, serving just 13 months…."

The Straits Times (Singapore) 1/19/97 "…Mr James Wood, chairman of the semi-official American Institute in Taiwan, was said to have resigned of his own accord after getting wind of talks in Washington that the Clinton administration wanted him replaced. The resignation had been accepted and Mr Wood's duty would be covered by his deputy, Ms Barbara Schwaghi, before a new appointment was made, said the Taiwanese daily. President Bill Clinton was said to be unhappy with Mr Wood because of media reports that the latter had "solicited donations" from Taiwanese businessmen for his re-election campaign…."

South China Morning Post 1/19/97 Jason Blatt "…TAIWAN authorities yesterday remained silent about Friday's resignation of Washington's top envoy to the island, American Institute in Taiwan chairman James Wood. Mr Wood, a lawyer from Arkansas and close friend of US President Bill Clinton, told Taiwan's Central News Agency he stepped down to accept another appointment with the Clinton administration. But he did not say what his new assignment was. Mr Wood, who the US Department of Justice last October confirmed was under investigation in connection with allegations of seeking donations for Mr Clinton's campaign from Taiwanese businessmen, did not address the accusations against him in the interview….Later, Mr Wood's predecessor, Natale Bellocchi, said he had heard rumours suggesting Mr Wood had sought illegal campaign donations from Taiwanese businessmen, ostensibly to "thank" Mr Clinton for protecting Taiwan when Beijing was conducting military exercises off the island's coast early last year. Mr Bellocchi said he had relayed everything he knew to investigating authorities. The allegations had caused a stir in the American media in the lead-up to last November's US presidential election. Yesterday, reports in Taiwan said Mr Wood's resignation had been confirmed by the US State Department….Mr Wood's resignation came as a surprise since just a few days before, when Taiwan's Vice-President Lien Chan was passing through New York on his way to Rome, Mr Wood was on hand to receive him…."

1/23/97 "…1) Clinton's appointed envoy to Taiwan, James C. Wood, Jr., resigns in the face of allegations he illegally pressured Taiwanese businessmen to give to the Clinton campaign. The Los Angeles Times reported that the Democratic National Committee received a Justice Department subpoena last week for any documents pertaining to Wood's activities in Taiwan. "The subpoena also sought documents concerning DNC fund-raiser John Huang's trip to Taiwan last May -- in conjunction with a Wood visit -- to identify potential donors." Wood is a friend of Clinton's from Arkansas. According to press accounts, many in the foreign policy establishment were surprised by Wood's appointment, as he knew nothing about Taiwan and since the envoy slot was usually reserved for career diplomats and Taiwan experts. We have yet to hear Clinton comment on this outrageous abuse of America's good name…."

CNN/AllPolitics 2/22/97 William Mann AP "…Wood said his problem grew from a directive he received from Winston Lord, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs in Clinton's first administration. Lord resigned last month. The directive ordered Wood to leave overseas operations of the congressionally established institute to the director in Taiwan rather than to the Washington-based directors as mandated in the bylaws. "…I also knew that AIT operations in Taiwan were rife with corruption, fraud and mismanagement and that AIT bylaws and State Department contact procedures were often not properly followed or ignored," Wood said in his statement. "Inasmuch as Assistant Secretary Lord is aware of the fraud, corruption and mismanagement, I could only consider his directive as complicity in or condoning such activities. I could not." Wood said faced with that legal, ethical and moral dilemma, he decided he had to keep appropriate American officials informed and "to keep a record of the unlawful activities and directives and be prepared to put them in writing and document them when the time comes. The time has come." He said he informed Richard Moose, undersecretary of state for management in the first Clinton administration, last July about "several serious items involving fraud and corruption at AIT in Taiwan that I felt should be referred to the Department of Justice." …"

2/24/97 CHARGES REGARDING AIT OFFICE ON TAIWAN Freeper amom "…Davies flatly denied all charges of waste, fraud and corruption at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) by its former director, James Woods. Davies said the allegations are "overstated," based on "highly questionable evidence," and "often, they are just plain wrong." Davies said that Woods was correct in claiming that his resignation as AIT Director was forced. Davies said the State Department found that after a year in office Woods had "failed to meet the basic needs of U.S. foreign policy" by failing to establish a close, trustful working relationship with Taiwan authorities and that "he refused to accept State Department direction." He was, Davies said, provided with an opportunity to resign and did so. …"

The Wall Street Journal 1/27/97 Editorial "…

The government of Taiwan has entirely serious reasons to be sensitive about reports of offers of political contributions to the Clinton campaign, but it also has a great deal to lose in the libel suit against two journalists who first aired the charges. Last October the Hong Kong Chinese-language weekly Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly) reported the allegation that Liu Tai-ying, a close adviser to President Lee Teng-hui and head of the Kuomintang party's $1 billion business empire, offered former White House aide Mark Middleton $15 million in illegal donations to the Clinton re-election campaign. Mr. Liu has filed a libel suit, supported by President Lee and the KMT. The two authors -- Hsieh Chong-liang on Taiwan and Ying Chan, a reporter for the New York Daily News -- face not only damage awards but possible jail sentences since Taiwanese law carries criminal penalties. The case illustrates the real foreign policy dangers in the Clinton campaign's push for foreign contributions. The acknowledged meeting between Mr. Liu and Mr. Middleton took place in the context of the decision on whether to send U.S. aircraft carriers to waters around Taiwan at a time when China was conducting threatening missile tests in August 1995….. It is not so much a case of perfidious Asians trying to subvert the American political process, but rather a case of greedy fund-raisers shaking down inviting targets of opportunity. The scandal is that Mr. Middleton would be in Taiwan at so sensitive a juncture. The Justice Department is investigating charges that he pressured Taiwanese businessmen for contributions, joined by the Clinton Administration's top diplomat on the island, former Arkansan James C. Wood Jr., who resigned last week for reasons described as personal. This is, in short, a serious matter. Yet the two journalists are merely messengers who seem to have been doing their job in a professional way. Their report was based on a reasonable source, Taiwanese political consultant Chao Chen-ping, who says he was present at the meeting when Mr. Liu made the offer….."

Los Angeles Times 2/10/97 Sara Fritz Peter Y Hong "…The envoy, former Washington lobbyist James C. Wood, urged several leading Taiwan businessmen to dump one firm that was handling their interests in the United States and to consider hiring another headed by one of his friends, according to two Taiwanese men familiar with the conversations…. On another occasion, Chang told The Times, Wood separately asked two of Taipei's richest and most prominent citizens--Jeffrey Koo, who heads China Trust Commercial Bank, and Eric Wu, whose wealthy family owns the Shing Kong Life Insurance Co., headquartered in the city's tallest skyscraper--to hire "his lawyer friends" to replace attorneys they then retained to represent them in Washington….. Another Taiwanese official familiar with these allegations said Wood, in his conversations with Koo and Wu, referred by name to a law firm in Washington he wanted the Taiwanese businessmen to hire. The firm employs a longtime friend of Wood's who is a Democratic loyalist…."

Los Angeles Times 2/10/97 Sara Fritz Peter Y Hong "….And two Taiwan arms dealers reportedly said Wood offered to broker a private sale of weapons, according to a Taiwanese editor who testified about the matter in a pending lawsuit…. Shieh Chung Liang, an editor of Yazhou Zhoukan, a Chinese language magazine, testified that he learned about the remarks from two Taiwanese businessmen and arms merchants who attended the dinner. He said the arms dealers, whom he declined to identify in an interview, also reported that Wood offered to personally broker the sale of weapons that the United States currently does not sell to Taiwan. A Sino-American communique signed in 1982 limits the types of U.S. weapons that can be sold to Taiwan. Shieh said in the interview that the arms dealers believed that Wood was "very serious" in the offer. Shieh's testimony came in a hearing on a suit brought against his magazine by the Kuomintang for a story alleging that a top party official had offered $ 15 million to the Clinton campaign. The disputed story did not mention the alleged incident involving Wood, and Kuomintang lawyers did not challenge his testimony on this subject…. "

Los Angeles Times 2/10/97 Sara Fritz Peter Y Hong "…. U.S. officials said FBI investigators were looking into those charges, which came after a string of allegations that Wood sought campaign contributions… An inquiry by the State Department inspector general's office has been included within the FBI probe…… After U.S. Navy aircraft carriers were sent to the Taiwan Strait last year to protect the island during Chinese missile tests, Wood told a number of people, including Parris Chang, a leader of Taiwan's main opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party, that the action cost the United States "a lot of money" and urged his Taiwanese contacts to find a way to "reciprocate," according to Chang ….. According to testimony heard recently in a Taipei courtroom, the American envoy boasted at a private dinner party that he could summon U.S. Navy ships in exchange for financial support from Taiwan. …"

Los Angeles Times 2/10/97 Sara Fritz Peter Y Hong "….The Wood controversy is particularly troublesome for the White House because, unlike other aspects of the fund-raising scandal, responsibility cannot be directed in part at party or campaign functionaries… According to P.H. Tsai, chief spokesman for Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang party, as well as other top officials who declined to be identified, Wood often told Taiwanese business and government officials they had an obligation to back Clinton financially to show their gratitude for the administration's military support for Taiwan. Wood often did not specify what he meant, Tsai said, but most people assumed that he was soliciting contributions for Clinton's reelection. Sometimes, other officials said, Wood did specifically mention campaign contributions…Many people who met Wood said he advised them that they owed their support to the Democratic Party now that Clinton was president…While Taiwanese officials are most concerned about the U.S. role in protecting the island's security, they said, Wood emphasized the American desire to sell more goods to Taiwan. Even some U.S. businessmen found that troubling. …. "

Central News Agency 2/24/97 Lilian Wu "…The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday would not comment on allegations made by James Wood, former head of the American Institute in Taiwan, that he had uncovered "massive mismanagement" at the AIT…. Cheng added that it was the first time the ministry had heard of the reports, and declined to comment on whether it would affect relations between the ROC and the US. Jason Hu, Taiwan's representative to the US, also said that it would not be appropriate for him to comment on an internal matter of the US. Jennifer Galt, AIT Taipei Office spokeswoman, said she had "no comment" on the reports. Wood, in statements faxed to news organizations on Saturday, claimed that he uncovered "massive waste, fraud, corruption and serious sexual harassment," at the AIT. He said he turned the information over to the proper authorities, and "was in the process of trying to clean up this mess when I was forced to resign." Wood denied that he had used his position to solicit contributions for President Clinton's re-election campaign, which contributed to his resignation in January after only 13 months in the office. Meanwhile, a former AIT employee said Monday that he could substantiate Wood's accusations of mismanagement of visa fees and sexual harassment at the AIT and was willing to testify. Keng Chien-chang,who worked in the AIT's visa section between 1985 and 1990, said that he believed Wood was telling the truth, adding that he had evidence proving corruption existed at the AIT. Keng was fired by the AIT in1990 and is now an investment consultant…."

Central News Agency 2/25/97 Flor Wang and N. K. Han "…Kuomintang Legislator Tina Wei-kang Pan Tuesday morning urged the US Senate to investigate into the charges by former American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Wood that women from Taiwan were forced to have sex with an AIT visa official in return for visa approval. Pan, speaking at the Legislative Yuan, said American senators should hold public hearings on Wood's accusations, and that the Republic of China government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, must not overlook the charges as they may be "the tip of the iceberg." Pan, who is president of the Modern Women's Foundation, called on Jason Hu, the ROC's representative to the United States, to push for public hearings by the US Senate to find out the truth….. Wood also claimed that the US State Department pressed him to resign because of his investigations into wrongdoing at the AIT. On Monday, Deputy State Department spokesman Glyn Davies said Wood's accusations against the AIT were "overstated" and "based on highly questionable evidence and often they are just plain wrong." Davies told a regular news briefing that Wood stepped down from his post because he refused to "accept State Department direction and oversight" and failed to develop solid working relations with local authorities based on trust. Davies also denied that Wood's resignation had anything to do with reports that he used his post to solicit contributions from the Taiwan business community for President Bill Clinton's re-election campaign. On Wood's accusation that US$ 5.3 million in visa application fees was missing, Davies acknowledged that there was an "ongoing dispute over accounting for a portion of visa fees at AIT." But he also stressed "There is no missing US$ 5.3 million. We are talking about how they were accounted for and perhaps how they should have been accounted for." Referring to Wood's claims that thousands of Taiwan women were sexually harassed by AIT visa investigators and that certain visas could be bought with money, Davies called the accusations "quite a leap and quite a stretch."…"

South China Morning Post 2/26/97 Simon Beck "…US officials have dismissed allegations of corruption and sexual harassment at America's de facto embassy in Taiwan, but admitted sloppy accounting and other problems. The administration yesterday said the man hired to run the American Institute in Taiwan was fired recently not because he revealed the alleged scandal, but for failing to do his job... The Justice Department is also investigating allegations that Mr Wood pressurised Taiwanese nationals to make donations to the Democratic Party. Even the admission that he was fired for doing a bad job will bring embarrassment to President Bill Clinton, who was instrumental in getting the Arkansas businessman the job, despite his lack of diplomatic credentials. The source of allegations of demands by institute officials for sex or cash in return for issuing visas to Taiwanese, could be traced to a former Taiwanese staff member at the institute, Mr Davies said. The official, whose job was to investigate the backgrounds of visa applicants, was sacked in 1990 for misconduct, he said, and went on to make wide-ranging allegations of visas being sold for as much as US$ 25,000 (HK$ 193,250). However, the spokesman said department officials charged with looking into his claims "concluded that the accusations were baseless and may have been made with the specific purpose of discrediting honest officers". Only one case of sexual harassment by an institute official had arisen, Mr Davies said, and that was in 1989. He said the probe failed to bear fruit after the employee denied the incident and the woman filed no charges. Mr Davies admitted an independent audit of institute finances between 1992 and 1995 stated that US$ 5 million in visa fees could not be accounted for, but he denied this money had disappeared through fraud. On Mr Wood's sacking, the spokesman said: "The department decided Mr Wood's performance failed to meet the basic needs of US foreign policy."…"

The Daily Yomiuri 2/26/97 Debra Lau Yomiuri Shimbun Washington Bureau ; Yomiuri "…He told reporters Sunday that he was falsely accused of using his position to obtain campaign contributions from Taiwanese businessmen for President Bill Clinton's reelection. Wood also said he was forced from his job for revealing what he alleges were cases of massive corruption, fraud and sexual harassment at AIT….. Responding for the first time to Wood's allegations, Davies said the charges were mostly traced to a Taiwan national hired by AIT in 1985 as a consular officer to investigate fraud and verify statements from prospective immigrants. His employment was terminated in 1990 for official misconduct involving his assigned duties. Davies also said that a thorough State Department investigation into 1993 charges that individuals paid 20,000 dollars to 25,000 dollars for visas concluded that the accusations "were baseless and indeed may have been made with the specific purpose of discrediting honest AIT officers." Rejecting Wood's claim of a visas-for-sex scandal, Davies said the only case of sexual impropriety dated back to 1989 when a woman who applied for an immigrant visa charged that a Taiwanese employee "visited her and made unwanted sexual advances." AIT investigated the incident and the employee, who had denied the charges, subsequently retired. The woman never filed legal charges, Davies said. "So how you get from that to the conclusions of Mr. Wood's manifesto that there were thousands of people being sexually harassed is quite a leap and quite a stretch," he said. Davies, however, did admit there were a number of questions raised about AIT's accounting procedures involving visa fees where their "accounting practices have not been sufficient." He said AIT offices in Washington and Taipei had hired independent auditors who said they "could not properly track some 5 million dollars" in visa receipts between 1992 and 1995. However, Davies said "there's no missing 5.3 million dollars" as Wood's has claimed and called his allegations "vastly overblown" because the questionable accounting practices had already been brought to light. Asked if there was an ongoing attempt to cover up corruption at AIT, Davies said, "I would deny that the State Department has covered up any malfeasance or corruption at AIT." Davies declined to answer whether Wood was asked to resign because of allegations that he was soliciting campaign funds for Clinton, which are being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department…."

2/97 Democratic Reform News WITNESSES SUBPOENAED BY THE THOMPSON COMMITTEE The Thompson Committee has issued the following subpoenas in connection with its investigation.
Subpoenas Issued February 1997 …1) Mark E. Middleton 2) Commerce Corp. International 3) Hsi Lai Temple 4) James C. Woods Jr. 5) American Institute in Taiwan 6) Johnny Chien Chuen Chung…."

The Daily Yomiuri 2/28/97 Lani Cossette Yomiuri Shimbun Washington Bureau ; PC3 "….James Wood, former head of Washington's de facto embassy in Taipei who has alleged officials there traded sex for visas and committed financial wrongdoing, accused a senior U.S. State Department official Wednesday of asking him to break the law. In his second press conference this week held to detail alleged corruption and fraud at the Taiwan liaison office, Wood said Winston Lord, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told him to ignore problems at the Taipei mission and denied him the right to resolve matters in the office, including graft, sexual abuse and a missing 5.3 million dollars in visa fees. State Department officials said Wednesday that Wood was not asked to break the law, and refuted his interpretation of Lord's comments, outlined in a three-page letter to Wood last July….. .. The appointment of Wood angered individuals in U.S.-Taiwan circles because, as a former official speaking on condition of anonymity charged, Wood lied about his participation in drafting the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act governing U.S-Taiwan relations. The former official also noted that Wood was asked to resign from the State Department's office of foreign missions. Wood's other critics have charged that he lacked the political acumen to serve as head of the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taiwan as he sometimes offended Taiwan businessmen by reminding them that the United States came to the island's defense…. Wood said Wednesday the AIT is an independent organization and Lord was wrong to say the office should operate under the State Department. But Harvey Feldman, a former State Department official who helped craft the Taiwan Relations Act, said: "This is a thinly veiled agency of the United States government, which, with nods and winks, is considered to be something other than the United States government because of the requirement that we will not have 'official representation' on Taiwan." Feldman noted that Wood is not independent from the State Department because he can be removed from office by the secretary of state. Wood has continued to charge that he was victimized because of his attempts to publicize reports of corruption and sexual abuse. He said Wednesday that a female member of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang Party has been contacted by two more women who claim they were sexually abused by staff members at the U.S. office in Taipei. Wood said Wednesday that meant there were perhaps "two hundred more women" who were abused and the full truth has yet to be disclosed…."

American Spectator '97 3/97 Knock on Wood "…The head of America's de facto embassy in Taiwan, James C. Wood, Jr., quietly resigned on January 17 -- shortly after the White House received a heads-up from an unknown source in the Justice Department that the FBI was preparing to serve Wood with search warrants for information related to charges that he, DNC fundraiser John Huang, and several other DNC officials attempted to shake down Taiwanese businessmen for political donations. Wood, a Little Rock attorney with close ties to Bill Clinton, is also tied to Mark Grobmyer, another Little Rock attorney under intense FBI and congressional scrutiny for not only his DNC fundraising and work for Lippo, but also his affiliation with New York's Center for the Study of the Presidency. In 1993 the center named Grobmyer "Liaison to the White House." The title found its way onto his business cards, and soon many Asian businessmen had the impression they were dealing with a White House official. Lippo's James Riady made donations totaling more than $100,000 to the center, including $30,000 to cover an awards dinner in Washington that Riady "co-hosted" with John Huang. Another Riady donation to the group financed a "White House briefing" for Asia-connected businessmen hosted by Grobmyer last year. Former Bush White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray, who serves on the center's board, is said to be appalled at what's happened to this once nonpartisan think tank. …"

3/21/97 The Arkansas Mafia Is James Wood or isn't he? Arkansas Times Ernest Dumas "…James C. Wood Jr., the former U.S. envoy to Taiwan, is consistently described in news reports as an Arkansas lawyer who's been a friend of Bill Clinton's since the1960s. A graduate of Little Rock's Central High School, Wood attended the University of The South at Sewanee, Tenn., from 1957 to 1959. He earned a degree in English and philosophy and a law degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville in 1965. Returning to Little Rock, he served as a law clerk for Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Frank Holt and served as an assistant attorney general under Bruce Bennett. After moving to Washington in 1967, Wood became a lawyer for a U.S. Senate subcommittee on the Judiciary, working on criminal law issues. In 1970, he began a five-year stint as legal adviser to the Civilian Branch of the U.S. Army's staff judge advocate in Frankfurt, Germany. Wood joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1975 and served as a legal advisor at the American Embassy in Bonn for two years. Back in Washington, he worked as a lawyer for the State Department and the Small Business Administration until 1984 when he became a lobbyist and chief executive officer for International Liason Associates, Inc. Wood said he helped arrange meetings with Chinese and Soviet leaders for the the New York Stock Exchange, which was trying to develop long-term relationships with China and Russia. After his mother's death, Wood said, he returned to Little Rock and did "grunt work" as a volunteer in the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. Wood said a friend in the State Department -- not Bill Clinton or anyone from the White House--first approached him about heading the American Institute on Taiwan …."


3/23/97 Washington Post Susan Schmidt "…Among those who have worked to help Hubbell financially were the lobbyist for Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc.; billionaire Democratic fund-raiser Ronald O. Perelman; Clinton friend and prominent Washington lobbyist Michael Berman; James C. Wood Jr., who would later become U.S. envoy to Taiwan before resigning this year amid allegations he pressed Taiwanese businessmen to contribute to Clinton's reelection campaign; then-U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, and a host of other wealthy friends and supporters…."


9/26/97 Rep Horn R-CA House of Representatives "…James C. Woods, Jr., Chairman American Institute, Taiwan, resigned January 17, 1997 due to being investigated by the Justice Department. He is accused of pressuring Taiwanese businessmen into contributing to the Clinton Campaign…."