ELECTION 2024/U.S. delegation arrives in Taiwan for post-election talks
Taipei, Jan. 14 (CNA) A U.S delegation including former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley arrived in Taiwan on Sunday evening, one day after Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) was elected the country's new leader.
Hadley, who served as national security advisor from 2005 to 2009 under former U.S. President George Bush, and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chair Laura Rosenberger arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 8:29 p.m.
Hours earlier at 5:55 p.m., former Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg landed in Taoyuan on a separate flight. Steinberg served as deputy secretary of state from 2009 to 2011 under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the U.S. delegation's visit from Sunday to Tuesday.
During their stay, the delegation will visit President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and other ranking government officials and political leaders, the ministry said.
The AIT said in a statement that "the U.S. government has asked former senior officials to travel in their private capacity to Taiwan," adding that such a visit was not unprecedented.
Shortly after President Tsai was first elected in 2016, Washington sent former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns to Taipei to meet Tsai and then-President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), with then-Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken visiting Beijing at the same time.
According to the AIT, the U.S. delegates will express "support for Taiwan's continued prosperity and growth" and "[the U.S.'] longstanding interest in cross-Strait peace and stability" during their meetings with Taiwanese officials on Monday.
The AIT represents Washington's interest in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between the two sides.
The U.S. Department of State offered its congratulations to Lai on winning the presidential election on Saturday, saying it looked forward to working with Lai and leaders of all parties in Taiwan to "advance our shared interests and values and to further our longstanding unofficial relationship."
"The United States is committed to maintaining cross-Strait peace and stability, and the peaceful resolution of differences, free from coercion and pressure," the state department added in a press release on Saturday.
In the presidential contest, Lai garnered 40.05 percent of the vote, followed by Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) of the main opposition Kuomintang with 33.49 percent, and Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of the smaller Taiwan People's Party with 26.46 percent.
Lai, who has kept the DPP in power for an unprecedented third consecutive four-year term, will take office in May.
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