The Presidential Office yesterday urged the public to refrain from speculation following reports that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) plans to meet with US president-elect Donald Trump when traveling to Central America on a state visit next month.
“Regarding media reports today [yesterday] that the president plans to meet with president-elect Trump and his team during a state visit next month, they are all just wild speculation,” the office said in a statement.
Details of any overseas state visit by Tsai or Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) would be made public after they are confirmed and finalized, it added.
The Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday cited an anonymous source as saying that Tsai plans to visit Central American diplomatic ally Nicaragua next month to attend the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and is expected to make a transit stop in New York.
“[Tsai’s aides] are working to secure a meeting with US Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who has been named as Trump’s White House chief of staff,” the report said. “They also do not rule out a meeting with Trump.”
The report followed a historic telephone call between Tsai and Trump on Friday, which lasted about 10 minutes and was focused mainly on economic development and improving Taiwan’s national defense.
It was the first publicly reported call between a Taiwanese leader and a US president or president-elect since Washington severed official diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 and switched recognition to Beijing.
Citing another source familiar with the matter who also requested anonymity, the report said that while the public has questioned whether the Tsai administration had “bet on the wrong US presidential candidate” following Trump’s unexpected electoral victory, Tsai has already established a line of communication with Trump’s camp through the Washington-based Heritage Foundation’s founder Edwin Feulner and the nation’s representative office in the US capital.
The source was quoted as saying that at the time, the administration’s priority was getting Tsai and Trump to talk on the telephone, adding that, despite positive responses from the Trump camp during initial communication, the Presidential Office remained discreet about the matter.
Trump’s open acknowledgment of the call on Twitter caught Tsai’s team by surprise, the source said.
The Tsai administration hopes that an in-person interaction with Trump could provide a further boost to Taiwan-US relations, the report said, adding that National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) allegedly made a visit to the US recently to negotiate a possible meeting.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit