Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai cautiously optimistic about Trump-Xi meeting

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen, right, attends a tea party for journalists yesterday in Honiara, Solomon Islands. Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee, center, looks on.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan is cautiously optimistic about US President Donald Trump’s upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and hopes it will help promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday in the Solomon Islands.

Asked at a tea party for the media covering her visit to the Solomon Islands if Taiwan could be a bargaining chip during Trump’s five-nation trip to Asia, which begins today, Tsai said the government would keep a close eye on Trump’s visit to China.

“We maintain close communications with the US,” she added.

She said she hoped that Trump would reaffirm the US’ commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region during his trip.

The Solomon Islands were Tsai’s final stop on her three-nation tour to Pacific Ocean allies and she is scheduled to transit through the US territory of Guam tomorrow on her way home.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) said that Tsai’s stopover in Guam was the outcome of consultations with the US.

Lee was responding to a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) that Tsai had originally planned to transit through Hawaii on both her outbound and homeward flights, but as Trump is stopping in Hawaii for a layover en route to Asia, Washington arranged for her to transit in Guam to avoid complicating relations between Washington, Beijing and Taipei before the Trump-Xi summit.

It is standard practice for stopovers to and from travel destinations to be different, Lee added.

Tsai also told reporters at the tea party that she hopes Taiwan can find its own place in the international community through its contributions to education, healthcare and agriculture.

Education, healthcare, and agriculture were the key targets of cooperative agreements Taiwan signed with the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands during her trip, she said.

Given that these are the foundation for the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, Tsai said she is confident Taiwan can make a place for itself in the international community through its collaborations in these areas.

Each of the three nations has committed itself to the UN sustainable development goals and Taiwan would continue to help them achieve those goals, she said.

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