President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) might have informal interactions with Jill Biden, US Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, during Sunday’s inauguration ceremony for the newly expanded Panama Canal, an official said yesterday.
Tsai is scheduled to leave for her first overseas trip since assuming office on Friday, traveling to Panama and Paraguay.
The inauguration of the Panama Canal is to be attended by leaders and representatives from around the world.
No arrangements have been made for a meeting between Tsai and Biden, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
“However, we will take every opportunity to allow casual interaction between them,” he said.
While in Panama, Tsai is expected to meet with a delegation of US Congress members, he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier this month announced that Tsai is to visit Panama and Paraguay, both diplomatic allies of Taiwan, on a trip from Friday through Saturday next week. She is to transit through Miami on her way to Panama and Los Angeles on her way back to Taiwan, the ministry said.
On Sunday, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond Burghardt said the US would be consistent in its handling of Tsai’s transit stops.
Responding to the questions of Taiwanese reporters after attending a dinner party hosted by Taiwan’s representative office in the US to celebrate the third SelectUSA Investment Summit, Burghardt said that the US would accord Tsai with the same level of courtesy it has offered to past Taiwanese leaders.
The US is handling the transfer requests under the principles of safety, dignity, comfort and convenience of the traveler, Burghardt said.
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