Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) arrived in New York on Tuesday for a stopover on his way back to Taiwan after wrapping up his two-nation visit to Latin America.
Siew was greeted at John F. Kennedy International Airport by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt, Taiwanese Representative to the US Jason Yuan (袁健生) and Kao Jen-chuan (高振群), director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural -Office in New York.
During his brief meeting with Burghardt, Siew extended his appreciation to the US for its support for Taiwan’s observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), according to Yuan.
He was referring to remarks made by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius at a news conference held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the WHA meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sebelius had commented on a recent controversy over Taiwan’s designation in the WHO, saying that no organization of the UN had a right to unilaterally determine Taiwan’s status.
The dispute was stirred up by a revelation last week that WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (陳馮富珍) wrote to WHO members in September last year to ask them to refer to Taiwan as the “Taiwan Province of China,” despite the fact that Taiwan has been invited to the WHA under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Siew will meet representatives of Taiwanese expatriates in New York and visit some local friends before departing the US city today to return to Taiwan.
The main purpose of his latest swing through Latin America was to attend celebrations marking the bicentennial of Paraguay’s independence on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), followed by a visit to Panama.