Vice president arrives in California, meets with U.S. congressmen

01/26/2022 12:13 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office
Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

Los Angeles, Jan. 25 (CNA) Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) began his stopover in Los Angeles on his way to Honduras with a virtual meeting with American congressmen that touched on bilateral trade and China.

Lai, whose delegation is headed to Honduras to attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Xiomara Castro on Jan. 27, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport at around 6:35 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Presidential Office.

In the meeting with congressmen, Lai, joined by Taiwan's Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), brought up bilateral trade relations and the threats posed by China, said Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), the office's deputy secretary-general who is traveling with Lai's delegation.

Video courtesy of the Presidential Office

Lee did not provide any further details on what was discussed, but said Edward Markey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Asia-Pacific, and Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, were among the lawmakers present.

Following the meeting, John Curtis, a House member who represents a district in Utah, posted on social media that he "was honored to lead the first meeting with the VP of Taiwan on his trip to the U.S."

"Utah and Taiwan have many ties, ties I have worked to strengthen during my time in Congress," he said.

Lai was welcomed by Maria Fernanda Rivera Fiallos, consul general of Honduras in Los Angeles (left). Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office.
Lai was welcomed by Maria Fernanda Rivera Fiallos, consul general of Honduras in Los Angeles (left). Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office.
James Moriarty (right), the chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, boards the plane to greet Lai (left) and the Taiwanese delegation. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office.
James Moriarty (right), the chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, boards the plane to greet Lai (left) and the Taiwanese delegation. Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office.

The discussion was one of seven virtual meetings that Lai is scheduled to have with American politicians and the Taiwanese community during his 24-hour stopover in Los Angeles, the office said, noting that Lai spoke with 17 congressmen on Tuesday morning.

Earlier in the day, James Moriarty, the chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, boarded the plane to greet the Taiwanese delegation shortly after Lai's charter flight touched down.

The institute represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Lai was also welcomed by Maria Fernanda Rivera Fiallos, consul general of Honduras in Los Angeles before heading to his hotel, the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City Hotel, where he was welcomed by dozens of Taiwanese expatriates.

Speaking to reporters outside the hotel, Lai thanked the Taiwanese community in the U.S. for its efforts and contributions related to increasing Taiwan's participation in international society.

Lai's delegation will depart for Honduras early Wednesday morning.

(By Lin Hung-han, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Teng Pei-ju)

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Update

Jan. 26: Taiwan receives bipartisan U.S. congressional praise: Vice President

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