Sun, Feb 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Chen Chu planning visit to Washington next month

By Nadia Tsao and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter in Washington, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, left, greets a resident in the city’s Cishan District yesterday as she hands out red envelopes to mark the Lunar New Year.

Photo: Huang Chia-lin, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) is to visit the US next month in her mayoral capacity, sources said yesterday.

Chen is expected to arrive in Washington on March 19 for a three-day visit, during which she is also to make a stop in New York City, they said.

Chen is expected to visit US administrative officials, lawmakers, academics, Taiwanese living in the US, as well as give a speech on March 20 at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank, although her itinerary has yet to be confirmed.

The US government and CSIS academics are reportedly very interested in Chen’s visit because of the Taiwanese local elections to be held on Nov. 24, her seniority in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and her understanding of local politics, sources said.

By the time Chen visits the US, the DPP would have on March 14 already announced its nominees for the mayoral and commissioner elections.

A source familiar with the matter said it was very likely that Chen would, like Premier William Lai (賴清德), join the central government after her US visit.

Lai in June last year visited the US in his capacity as mayor of Tainan before taking office as premier in September that year.

However, Chen yesterday denied rumors that she would join the central government as secretary-general of the Presidential Office, saying she has never discussed the matter with the central government and has no intention of joining.

Chen in June last year led a delegation to Portland and Seattle, but has not visited Washington in her role as Kaohsiung mayor.

On Aug. 28 last year, CSIS China Power Project director Bonnie Glaser led a team of academics specializing in US-Taiwan policy on a visit to Kaohsiung to discuss with Chen the development of Taiwan’s democracy and Kaohsiung’s city governance.

Additional reporting by Huang Chia-lin and Su Fang-ho

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