Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Guam governor welcomes Tsai with fanfare, reception

‘PRIVATE AND UNOFFICIAL’:The president met with Guam senators and the US territory’s governor on her way back to Taiwan, where she is to meet the premier of St Lucia this week

Staff writer, with Reuters and CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived on the US Pacific island of Guam yesterday on her way back from visiting Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific.

While the office of Guam Governor Edward Calvo described it as a “private and unofficial visit,” Tsai was provided a police escort upon her arrival.

Legislature of Guam senators were in attendance at a welcome reception for Tsai hosted by Calvo, who spoke of “island nations that share a common vision of peace and prosperity.”

In response, Tsai spoke of Guam’s attractions as a tropical island and called it an “ideal place to visit.”

“I am confident we can bring Guam and Taiwan closer,” she said.

Guam is home to a large US military base and would be key to any US assistance to Taiwan in the event of a conflict with China.

Tsai on Saturday last week left Taiwan on a state visit to three Pacific island allies which took her to the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

She had a layover in Hawaii en route to the Marshall Islands, her first destination, and was transiting through Guam on her return leg to Taiwan today.

Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) on Thursday said that Tsai’s planned 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 her outbound and homeward flights, but as US President Donald 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 Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

In other news, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is to visit Taiwan from Wednesday to Saturday, to broaden cooperation between the two countries.

Chastanet will be visiting Taiwan for the second time since he took office as the Caribbean island nation’s prime minister in June last year.

Chastanet is to meet with Tsai, Premier William Lai (賴清德), Lee and Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) during his four-day visit to exchange ideas on expanding Taiwan-St Lucia cooperation, the ministry said.

Since Taiwan and St Lucia resumed diplomatic relations in 2007, the two countries have established cooperative projects in agriculture, humanitarian aid, infrastructure, education, healthcare and information technology, the ministry said.

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