President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) held closed-door meetings and spoke with US officials, including having a teleconference with US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, during her layover in New York, National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥) said.
Tsai Ming-yen made the remarks on the president’s chartered flight as the delegation left the US for Haiti on Saturday.
Tsai Ing-wen met American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty soon after her arrival in the city on Thursday afternoon, and the following day met former US secretary of state Richard Armitage, before speaking with Pelosi on the telephone, he said.
The president expressed gratitude for the US’ and Pelosi’s support of Taiwan, including the US House of Representatives’ passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 on Friday, which includes a section supporting continued US arms sales to Taiwan, Tsai Ming-yen said.
Before attending a banquet with the Taiwanese-American community on Friday evening, the president spoke with a number of US senators and representatives, Tsai Ming-yen said.
US congressional members were interested in the Taiwan-US relationship and voiced support for Tsai Ing-wen’s role in pragmatically growing bilateral ties, he said, adding the relationship between Taiwanese and US officials is good and trust between the two runs high.
On Saturday, the president took a tourist ferry on the Hudson River past the Statue of Liberty.
“Seeing her at a close distance helped me better appreciate the significance of the existence of freedom and democracy,” Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Facebook.
The statue represents the freedom of the US, and illuminates the path in front of democratic countries, she wrote.
Before departing the Big Apple for the Caribbean to visit four diplomatic allies at about noon on Saturday, Tsai Ing-wen walked in Central Park with young Taiwanese who mostly settled in New York after finishing their studies in the US.
During her visit to New York, Tsai also met with the UN representatives of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies at Taiwan’s liaison office in New York and delivered a speech at Columbia University.
However, Chinese groups protested her visit outside the hotel she was staying at, and were involved in physical altercations with pro-Taiwan groups.
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