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  • Itinerary announced for President Tsai's transit stop in Miami
  • Date
At 1:00 p.m. on June 26 (US Eastern Daylight Savings Time), with the presidential aircraft en route to Panama, Deputy Secretary-General to the President Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁) provided a briefing on the president's itinerary during her transit stop in Miami.

According to Deputy Secretary-General Tseng, the presidential aircraft arrived as scheduled in Miami on June 25 (local time), and the president reached her hotel at 1:00 p.m. After a short rest, she met at the hotel with Joseph R. Donovan, Acting Chairman of the Washington Office of the American Institute in Taiwan. Mr. Donovan extended President Tsai a warm welcome as she transited in Miami on her way to visit diplomatic allies in Central and South America.

Deputy Secretary-General Tseng mentioned that, before President Tsai attended a dinner banquet in Miami with Taiwanese expatriates, she met with US Senator Marco Rubio to thank him for the many years he has spent working to improve Taiwan-US relations. During the meeting, the two discussed several important issues, including Taiwan's national defense policy and bilateral economic and trade ties. On the topic of national defense, they talked about how to strengthen Taiwan's self-defense capabilities, and President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan will need technical support and assistance from the US to achieve its goal of indigenous submarine production. Regarding economic and trade ties, the president expressed hope that the US Senate will continue to support Taiwan in its quest to take part in second-round negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and to strengthen talks between Taiwan and the US under their bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

Deputy Secretary-General Tseng stated that President Tsai spoke by telephone with Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Finance. As one of those who took part in the enactment of the Taiwan Relations Act, Senator Hatch has worked hard for many years to promote Taiwan-US relations. The people of Taiwan are very grateful for his friendship, said the president, who additionally voiced hope that he can continue to support Taiwan's efforts to take part in TPP negotiations and participate more fully in the international community.

Deputy Secretary-General Tseng mentioned President Tsai's three meetings in Miami on the morning of June 26. He remarked that during the president's meeting with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the two sides talked about the direct flight by the presidential aircraft from Taipei to Miami being a big breakthrough. The president expressed hope that Taiwan can someday open up a new direct flight route between Taipei and Miami in order to spur increased interaction between the two countries. President Tsai also met for a relaxed chat with Wei-Yin Chen (陳偉殷), a pitcher from Taiwan currently playing Major League Baseball in the US. Chen gave the president a signed Miami Marlins jersey No. 54 along with six feeding bowls for the president's pets, while the president gave Chen a bottle of commemorative wine and a commemorative stamp folio for her inauguration, on which she personally wrote: "The people of Taiwan stand by you, and the world cheers for you." The president also delivered Chen gifts from Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) of the star pitcher's native Kaohsiung, including pineapple cakes by master chef Wu Pao Chun (吳寶春) and mullet roe. Hopefully these familiar items, said the president, will help relieve any homesickness that Chen might be feeling.

Deputy Secretary-General Tseng indicated that President Tsai's final meeting was with US Congressional Taiwan Caucus Co-Chair Gregg Harper, who said that the Taiwan Caucus is currently the largest nation based caucus in the US House of Representatives. It has over 200 members, and is progressing toward a goal of 250. The president stated that the people of Taiwan are very heartened by the support of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, and she voiced hope for its continued support.
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