Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will lead a delegation on a visit to the US from Sept. 12 until Sept. 21 in an effort to drum up support, her campaign office announced yesterday.
In one of the most important overseas visits for the DPP presidential candidate, Tsai is expected to meet with US Department of State officials to discuss Taiwan-US and Taiwan-China relations, the campaign office said, without elaborating on specific agenda issues.
Tsai is scheduled to spend two or three days in Washington, where she will meet academics from various think tanks and US congressional representatives, as well as attend fundraising dinners organized by overseas Taiwanese communities, Tsai’s campaign spokesperson Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.
The delegation will then make a short two-day trip to Boston, where Tsai will make a speech at Harvard University, the alma mater of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Tsai’s Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opponent in January’s presidential election.
Tsai’s Harvard speech was planned strictly because of the university’s prestigious academic reputation and has nothing to do with Ma, Hsu said in response to questions by reporters.
After Boston, the delegation will travel to the US west coast and make stops in Los Angeles and San Francisco, which boast some of the largest Taiwanese communities in the US, before returning to Taiwan.
The response from Taiwanese-American communities has been overwhelming as invitations from cities throughout the US poured into Tsai’s campaign office, inviting her delegation to visit, Hsu said.
“Since we have only 10 days, we are trying to squeeze in as many cities as possible,” she said, adding that details of the itinerary are still being worked out and more cities, such as New York, could be added to the schedule.
The delegation will mainly consist of members of the DPP’s New Frontier Foundation think tank and former DPP administration officials. The size of the delegation has yet to be finalized.
“One thing I can assure you is that it will not be a small delegation,” Hsu said. “The DPP is taking this trip very seriously.”
In June, Tsai made trips to the Philippines, Germany and UK.
A visit to Japan, one of Taiwan’s most important allies, is also in the pipeline, Hsu said, adding that Tsai would like to visit Japan, but nothing can be confirmed at this time.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA