TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – President Tsai Ing-wen will send former Premier Yu Shyi-kun to attend the January 20 inauguration of Donald Trump as president of the United States, the Presidential Office announced Friday.
Relations between the two governments have come under closer scrutiny after Tsai made a phone call to President-elect Trump on December 2, the first such high-level direct contact since Washington recognized Beijing in 1979.
Yu will lead a delegation which includes 11 lawmakers from ruling camp and opposition, presidential spokesman Alex Huang said. They will leave Taiwan on January 16 and return on January 23.
Before that, Tsai is scheduled to visit four Latin-American diplomatic allies. Such trips usually involve two stopovers in the United States, one on the way out and one on the way back, but due to the uproar over the phone call to Trump, Taiwan has been reluctant to provide details about the itinerary.
Earlier, government officials said New York had never been considered as the site for a stopover, dampening speculation about a face-to-face meeting between Tsai and Trump, who is spending most of the transition in his home town.
The Taiwanese government delegation was also planning to meet several prominent politicians, top academics and members of the Taiwanese community while staying in the U.S.
Members of the delegation included Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hwa-kuan, National Security Council official Tung Chen-yuan, and legislators from all major parties, including Freddy Lim of the New Power Party, the Presidential Office said.