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President visits alma mater

2013/08/13 11:34:26

New York, Aug. 12 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday went to see his alma mater, New York University (NYU), where he revisited his school days and his romance with his future wife Chow Mei-ching.

Ma earned his master of laws degree from NYU in 1976. It was during his time at NYU that he met Chow.

Greeting Ma with a big hug at the School of Law, NYU President John Sexton said he was very happy about the return of an old friend and outstanding alumni.

Sexton presented Ma with two NYU baseball caps, commemorative pens and his new books as gifts for the president and his wife.

While at the university, Ma strolled down memory lane, visiting old classrooms, the small basement office he used, and the dormitory across the street from his office where he lived.

The president also called up the first lady, who was in the United Kingdom to support a Taiwanese group performing at the Edinburgh International Festival, to share the moment with her. Chow also chatted briefly with Sexton.

Ma arrived in New York Sunday on a three-day transit stop ahead of a five-nation diplomatic tour that will cover Paraguay and Taiwan's four allies in the Caribbean.

It is Ma's first visit to New York since becoming president in 2008.

After leaving NYU, Ma had a luncheon with U.S. business leaders, during which he explained Taiwan's trade liberalization policy.

He later called on the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) of New York to express his appreciation to the association for its loyalty to the Republic of China.

The association, which was founded in 1883, represents Chinese Americans living in the Greater New York metropolitan area. Ma was the first ROC president to visit the association.

CCBA President Paul Ng pledged that his association will continue its support for the ROC in accordance with the will of ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen.

Earlier that day, Ma had a breakfast meeting with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in lower Manhattan to remember the victims of the infamous terrorist attack in 2001.

Ma also met with former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, who was born in Taiwan.

(By Leaf Chiang, Tony Liao and Y.F. Low)