Sat, Feb 08, 2020 - Page 3 News List

Political Developments: Lai invited to US for rights advocacy: pastor

Staff writer, with CNA, WASHINGTON

Chinese-American pastor Bob Fu is pictured during an interview in Washington on Thursday.

Photo: CNA

Vice president-elect William Lai (賴清德) was invited to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington because of his advocacy for freedom of religion and human rights, prominent Chinese-American pastor Bob Fu (傅希秋) said on Thursday.

Since Lai stepped down as premier in January last year, he has been deeply involved in the promotion of human rights, Fu said.

In particular, Lai’s efforts to champion religious freedom and support the victims of China’s religious persecution, including Tibetans, have been heartwarming, said Fu, a former victim of such persecution.

It was mainly for those reasons that he invited Lai to attend the annual prayer breakfast in a private capacity, said Fu, who founded the non-governmental China Aid Association, which provides legal aid to Christians in China.

Fu said that his invitation to Lai was not met with any opposition in the US, either from the White House or the US Department of State, despite Lai being elected vice president after the invitation was issued.

At the prayer breakfast on Thursday, Lai was seated at the same table as US Senator Lindsey Graham and next to the table where US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sitting at the front of the Washington Hilton’s international ballroom.

US President Donald Trump and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the gathering of religious and political leaders from around the world.

A member of Lai’s delegation said that Lai was at the event in a private capacity, as he has not yet taken office.

Lai is to be sworn in as vice president in May.

Former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) denied reports that Lai held discussions with US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien during a visit to the US National Security Council on Wednesday.

The National Prayer Breakfast, a bipartisan event founded in 1953, aims to “unite individuals of different nationalities, religions and political perspectives through the power of prayer,” the formal invitation says.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top