Vice President William Lai (賴清德) on Saturday spoke with US Senator Tammy Duckworth by telephone and met with US experts virtually in San Francisco as he wrapped up his trip to the US and Honduras.
Lai and his delegation left San Francisco to return to Taiwan on Saturday afternoon, ending a trip that included a visit to Los Angeles for about 24 hours and to Honduras for nearly two days, to attend the inauguration of Honduran President Xiomara Castro.
In his 20-minute talk with Duckworth, Lai thanked her for her support of Taiwan and help in obtaining COVID-19 vaccines, Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said.
They also discussed potential areas of cooperation for the countries, while Duckworth said that the US would not let Taiwan stand alone and expressed an interest in visiting the nation again, Hsiao said.
Duckworth, a supporter of Taiwan in the US Senate, briefly visited the nation in June last year, when she announced that the US would provide COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan, as it struggled to obtain vaccines it had ordered.
Earlier on Saturday, Lai held virtual talks with several US experts and former officials on a range of issues.
He spoke with Yvonne Maldonado, a professor of pediatrics and health research, and Jason Wang (王智弘), a public health expert, both at Stanford University, about the spread of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 and epidemic prevention, Hsiao said.
Lai also met virtually with US-Taiwan Business Council chairman Michael Splinter and president Rupert Hammond-Chambers.
They discussed the potential for bilateral trade talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, and the hope that a Taiwan-US trade agreement could be negotiated, Hsiao said.
In another videoconference, Lai met with former US national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Matt Turpin, an expert on US policy toward China at the Hoover Institution.
They discussed security issues, such as how Taiwan could enhance stability across the Taiwan Strait, and strengthen cooperation with the US and its allies to reduce its dependence on China, Hsiao said.
Lai expressed to them his confidence in Taiwan, and talked about how the nation plans to enhance its economy and make itself an indispensable part of the global supply chain, Hsiao said.
Lai’s delegation arrived in San Francisco on Friday, when he held virtual talks with the overseas Taiwanese community and US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
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