Tue, Jul 05, 2016 - Page 3 News List

No funds for Tsai to travel abroad again this year: minister

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will not make any more overseas visits this year due to a shortage of funds, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said yesterday.

Tsai on June 26 attended the inauguration the expanded Panama Canal and later visited Paraguay, Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America, before returning on Saturday.

Lee made the remarks in a report to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Tsai’s first overseas trip since taking office May 20.

He was responding to questions from Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) on whether Tsai has any plans to make more trips before the end of the year.

“There will be no more money [for Tsai] to make more overseas trips,” Lee said.

He said Tsai’s Latin America trip cost nearly NT$90 million (US$2.8 million).

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) spent about NT$60 million on the last overseas trip of his term when he visited Guatemala and Belize in March, Lee said.

Wang asked if there was sufficient budget for a reported visit by Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) to the Vatican, Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in Europe.

Lee said Chen’s visit is still in the planning stages and has not been formally announced.

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