Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Taipei trip by US Cabinet member first in 14 years

RESCHEDULED:The official had reportedly planned to visit last year, but the trip was canceled due to the US’ displeasure with early local media reports on the visit

Staff writer, with CNA

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy is to visit Taipei today and tomorrow to mark 20 years of US-Taiwan cooperation on environmental issues, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday.

McCarthy is the first Cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan in nearly 14 years. The last was then-US secretary of transportation Rodney Slate in June 2000.

McCarthy will meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Environmental Protection Administration officials, AIT said.

She is scheduled to start today with an early morning visit to Jian-An Elementary School to see its low-carbon classroom, ecological area and launch a new partnership on environmental education.

After that, she will head to National Taiwan University, where she will deliver a speech and tour an exhibition celebrating 20 years of US-Taiwan partnerships on environmental issues, the institute said.

McCarthy will also meet with members of the US business community in Taiwan, according to a statement released by her agency.

Her visit to Taipei “will advance regional and global cooperation under EPA’s 20-year partnership with Environmental Protection Administration Taiwan,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed McCarthy’s visit to strengthen bilateral exchanges on the environment.

McCarthy had reportedly planned to visit in December last year, but the trip was canceled because of US displeasure with Taiwanese media, who broke the story before McCarthy’s scheduled arrival, according to Chinese-language media reports at the time.

However, Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the reports, saying that no visit had been planned.

AIT spokesman Mark Zimmer told the Central News Agency at the time that “there is no visit planned at this time, but Administrator McCarthy plans to visit Taiwan at a later time.”

McCarthy will leave Taipei tomorrow to head to Hanoi, the US official’s agency said.

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