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Presidential candidates free to decide on U.S. trips: Ma

Presidential candidates free to decide on U.S. trips: Ma

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday it is up to a presidential candidate to decide whether to visit the United States before the elections in January.
It is not necessary for all presidential candidates to go to the U.S. but they have autonomy to decide whether to go there to speak about their political platforms, Ma said in response to reporters' questions during a visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"It depends on each candidate's assessment," he said, addressing the media and foreign affairs officials on his administration's achievements in the area of "viable diplomacy."
Citing his own experience, Ma said he did not visit the U.S. during his presidential campaigns ahead of the 2008 or 2012 elections, both of which he won on the Kuomintang (KMT) ticket.
He said he went to the U.S. in 2006, when he was the mayor of Taipei City, and visited India and Singapore in 2007.
The issue of a U.S. trip by the KMT's presidential hopeful Hung Hsiu-chu has spurred heated debate among political pundits and within the party.
Hung said Monday that the probability of her visiting the U.S. before the election was not high, given her tight schedule, a position that seemed to be at odds with that of KMT Chairman Eric Chu.
Chu said Saturday that arrangements will be made for Hung to visit the U.S. after she has been confirmed as the party's official presidential candidate at the KMT congress on July 19.
Earlier this month, Tsai Ing-wen, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman and presidential candidate, wrapped up a six-city tour of the U.S., during which she met with Washington officials and politicians, think tank members, and Taiwanese expatriates. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-04-12 15:31 GMT+08:00