Former US president Bill Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Taipei this evening on a private jet for a whirlwind visit of less than 24 hours, during which he will deliver a speech, meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), and visit the Taipei International Flora Expo.
In his sixth visit to Taiwan, or the second time after retiring from his eight-year presidency in 2000, Clinton will mark the first time a former US president is visiting Taiwan during Ma’s term.
Clinton is scheduled to meet with Ma this evening at the Taipei International Conference Center (TICC), the first event in his itinerary after his arrival, sources said.
According to the organizer of the speech event, a subsidiary company of the Singapore-based Universal Network Intelligence (UNI), Clinton will predict the economic performance of the country and its economic direction beyond this year in his speech.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) will give an opening remark to welcome Clinton before his 40-minute speech, followed by a 30-minute question-and-answer session.
Prior to his Taiwan visit, Clinton made stops in Singapore and the Philippines’ where he delivered a speech under the topic of “Embracing Our Common Humanity.”
Clinton’s visiting entourage is composed of about 20 people, including about 10 US entrepreneurs of various businesses, UNI said.
Sources said that Clinton would visit the flora expo, including the US pavilion located in the Global Garden Area at the Yuanshan Park Area, tomorrow morning before he wraps up his trip in Taiwan at around noon.
As of yesterday, a meeting between Clinton and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had not been arranged, DPP sources said.
Tickets to attend Clinton’s speech cost from NT$1,800 to NT$250,000.
UNI said that 10 percent of the ticket revenue will be donated to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which was established by Clinton with the stated mission to strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.
Clinton’s most recent trip to Taiwan was in February 2005, during which he met with then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP as well as then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and attended a book-signing event for his autobiography, My Life.
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