Vice President William Lai (賴清德) on Tuesday began his stopover in Los Angeles on his way to Honduras with an online meeting with US lawmakers that touched on bilateral trade and China.
Lai, who is leading a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of Honduran president-elect Xiomara Castro today, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at about 6:35am on Tuesday, the Presidential Office said.
Lai, joined by Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), brought up bilateral trade relations and the threats posed by China, said Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), who is the office’s deputy secretary-general and a member of the delegation.
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office via CNA
Lee did not provide further details on what was discussed, but said US Senator Edward Markey, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Asia-Pacific, and US Representative Mark Takano, chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, were among the 17 US lawmakers who attended the meeting.
Following the meeting, US Representative John Curtis of Utah wrote on social media that he “was honored to lead the first meeting with the VP of Taiwan on his trip to the US.”
“Utah and Taiwan have many ties, ties I have worked to strengthen during my time in Congress,” he said.
The meeting was the first of seven videoconferences that Lai was to have with US politicians and representatives of Taiwanese communities during his 24-hour stopover in Los Angeles, the office said.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Lai was greeted by American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty, who boarded the charter plane to welcome the delegation.
The institute represents US interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Lai then went to Hilton Los Angeles and Universal City Hotel, where he was greeted by Honduran Consul-General Maria Fernanda Rivera Fiallos, as well as dozens of Taiwanese expatriates.
Speaking to reporters outside the hotel, Lai thanked the Taiwanese community in the US for its efforts and contributions to increasing Taiwan’s participation in international society.
Lai’s delegation is to depart for Honduras this morning.
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