As part of a 12-day tour with visits to six US cities, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) addressed nearly 1,000 Taiwanese-Americans and others in New York City on Friday night, who came out to show their support for her and her campaign for next year’s presidential election.
“This is a city filled with hope,” Tsai told the mostly Taiwanese crowd, with people having traveled from Boston, Philadelphia, Rhode Island and elsewhere to listen to her address.
Tsai’s stop in Brooklyn, at the Marriott Hotel near the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, came after a series of closed-door meetings over the past week with Washington officials and politicians.
US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat who is a ranking member of that committee, were among the participants in the talks, sources said.
In her New York speech, Tsai asked Taiwanese to have confidence in Taiwan and said that the DPP is the only party that is capable of uniting the nation.
“Taiwanese value the freedom of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly,” she said.
Tsai’s trip drew criticism from Chinese officials.
“We demand that the United States strictly abide by the one China principle ... [and] not send the wrong signal to Taiwan,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Hong Lei (洪磊) said at a news conference on Friday, according to Reuters.
Tsai emphasized peace as the only option for resolving conflicts in Asia.
“Taiwan is eager to share and inspire our neighbors in Asia, to inspire and make Asia a better place,” she said.