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President seeks U.S. support during Miami transit stop

ROC Central News Agency

2016/06/26 14:36:29

Panama City, June 25 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) sought U.S. Congress support for Taiwan's indigenous submarine program and talked about trade-related issues when meeting with U.S. Congress members during a transit stop in Miami Friday, according to Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁).

Tsai arrived in Miami earlier that day en route to Panama, the first leg of her first overseas trip since she assumed office May 20, receiving a warm welcome from Joseph Donovan, executive director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Donovan then held a private meeting to welcome Tsai on behalf of the U.S. government. However, what was discussed at the meeting was not made public due to a tacit agreement between Taiwan and the United States in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, Tseng said.

During her 24-hour transit in the Florida city, Tsai also met with Senator Marco Rubio, a staunch supporter of Taiwan in the U.S. Congress, who recently introduced a resolution reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and the "Six Assurances" as cornerstones of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

During the meeting, Rubio raised concerns about what Taiwan can do to strengthen its national defenses. In response, Tsai reiterated Taiwan's policy goal of developing indigenous submarines and stressed Taiwan's need for U.S. assistance in reaching that goal, according to Tseng.

Tsai also expressed hope that the U.S. Congress will help Taiwan's bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and help enhance bilateral cooperation in trade and economic exchanges by holding talks on a wide range of issues under the Taiwan-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), according to Tseng.

Tsai later talked with U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch on the phone to thank him for his support for Taiwan.

On Saturday, Tsai met with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman emeritus of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The president also met with U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper, a co-chair of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus, later that day.

(By Sophia Yeh and Evelyn Kao)

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