Ma departs Los Angeles for Taiwan after mayoral `power breakfast`

President to arrive in Taoyuan Saturday afternoon

Ma departs Los Angeles for Taiwan after mayoral  `power breakfast`

President Ma Ying-jeou began the last leg of a six-day visit to Central America with a breakthrough ``power breakfast`` with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Friday morning before departing on the return trip to Taiwan, where his chartered China Airlines Boeing 747-400 is expected to return Saturday afternoon.

The Taiwan president, who stayed at the Universal Hilton Hotel near the Universal Studios Thursday evening after arriving at Los Angels International Airport shortly after six pm local time from Santo Dominingo,
was feted by a banquet with representatives of the Los Angeles area Taiwan community.

During the banquet, American Institute for Taiwan Board Chairman Raymond Burkhardt said that bilateral ties were in ``great shape`` instead of referring to an ``excellent climate.``

Ma began his day by using the Universal Hilton`s gym and its jogging machine before 6 am, Ma jogged around the hotel three times.

When asked by reporters what score he would give to the six day visit to Honduras and the Dominican Republic, Ma stated that ``I will not grade it for you!``

Afterward, Ma had breakfast with several influential Los Angeles area politicians at Mayor , including Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in the mayor`s residence.

Usually, the Taiwan president has been restricted from public activities and generally confined to his hotel.

However, Ma was allowed to visit a biotech company in Hayward, California during his overnight transit in San Francisco Monday and was allowed to participate in a breakfast in a local government official site for the first time as president through Friday`s ``power breakfast`` at the Los Angeles Ciay through the mayoral ``power breakfast.``

Ma afterward placed a telephone call to Representative Howard Berman, a Democratic from California, who is chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

A senior government official stated that the ``breakthroughs`` showed that ``these are natural`` and confirms messages communicated by the United States, namely that the dispute over the U.S. - Taiwan beef importation protocol, is simply an ``economic issue`` and will not influence overall U.S.-Taiwan relations and indicates that Ma`s ``pragmatic, cautious and low-profile`` diplomacy had earned Washington`s confidence.

The president and his entourage of over 100 officials, lawmakers, staff and reporters were slated to depart from Los Angeles International Airport at 9:30 am local time (1:30 am January 30 in Taiwan) and arrive at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 4:30 pm.

Updated : 2021-04-13 19:48 GMT+08:00