TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- During Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's stopover in Los Angeles on Sunday, a high-level U.S. politician called for Tsai to be granted a trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Taiwan Travel Act.
As part of Tsai's nine-day overseas "Celebration Tour" to visit diplomatic allies Paraguay and Belize, she was welcomed at a banquet in Los Angeles by three U.S. lawmakers, including Congressman Ed Royce (R), Congressman Brad Sherman (D) and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D).
Her transit in Los Angeles marks the first time a Taiwanese President has visited the U.S. since the Taiwan Travel Act (TTA), which "encourages visits between officials of the United States and Taiwan at all levels," was signed into law by President Trump on Mar. 16.
At the banquet, Sherman, who is a ranking member of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee, made some remarks in welcoming Tsai, including the revelation that the Taiwan Travel Act was devised with the intention of enabling Taiwanese presidents to visit the U.S. capital.
During his remarks, Sherman, a self-described "strong advocate" for the alliance between the U.S. and Taiwan, said, "I want to see one of the highest level" of visits between the US and Taiwan and that is to "welcome you [Tsai Ing-wen] in Washington DC," reported Politico.
Royce, who helped ensure the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, praised the law as being among the "many positive developments in the US-Taiwan relationship this year." Royce then indicated that he is looking forward to more such visits by Taiwanese senior officials to further foster relations between the two countries saying, "By encouraging more frequent visits between our two peoples and governments, we further strengthen the critical US-Taiwan partnership," according to the Politico report.
Thus far, Tsai has already enjoyed an unprecedented degree of courtesy provided to a Taiwanese president on this current trip, including visiting the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, state government institutes, and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The press corps is being allowed to report on-site while she is in the U.S. for the first time as well.