Tue, Oct 17, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai transit stops to be announced later: ministry

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee, left, is pictured at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The transit stops President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to make on her upcoming trip to three of the nation’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific will be announced once negotiations between the US and Taiwan have been completed, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said yesterday.

Lee told reporters on the sidelines of a legislative hearing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been ramping up its preparations for Tsai’s visit to the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands from Oct. 28 to Nov. 4.

Asked where Tsai would transit, Lee said Taipei is waiting for a decision from Washington, and that the ministry would make an announcement as early as today.

Local media reported over the weekend that Tsai is likely to transit in Hawaii or Guam.

“Since the transit stops will take place in US territory, no announcement will be made until Washington is ready,” Lee said. “We need to complete the negotiations with the US before the announcement.”

Tsai is to address the Marshall Islands Legislature and the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands to offer assistance on pursuing sustainable development goals, the ministry said last week.

Taiwan has three other diplomatic allies in the Pacific — Nauru, Kiribati and Palau.

Due to her busy schedule, Tsai will visit only three of the six diplomatic allies this time, Lee said.

Tsai will pay close attention to domestic and international events, including the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party opening tomorrow, US President Donald Trump’s Asia trip and the APEC leaders’ summit in Vietnam next month, Lee said.

Tsai has named People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) as her special envoy to the APEC summit to be held on Nov. 10-11.

Soong is preparing for the APEC meeting with help from the ministry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Council of Agriculture, which are collecting information for the envoy, Lee added.

Lee said his ministry has held a briefing for Soong, and two more briefings have been scheduled before Soong leaves for Da Nang, Vietnam.

Last year, Soong served as Tsai’s envoy to the APEC economic leaders’ meeting in Lima.

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