TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following the visits to the White House and the U.S. State and Defense Departments, Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) met with a number of U.S. senators and congressmen Tuesday (all times local) in hopes of gaining more support for Taiwan from U.S. lawmakers.
Cheng talked about his trip to the U.S. Congress in a series of posts via Facebook. He met with two senators and nine house representative, and made a visit to the office of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“It is not easy for Taiwan’s key political leaders and government officials of any levels to visit D.C.,” said Cheng, pointing out that over the years, Taiwanese officials have sometimes been prevented from visiting the U.S. capital due to lack of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the U.S.
The trip was only made possible with the assistance of the American Institute in Taiwan and relevant agencies, according to the Taoyuan City Government.
The mayor denied media speculation that the trip served as a preparatory step before entering the presidential election, potentially in partnership with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who announced her bid for reelection in February.
Cheng emphasized that his U.S. tour is concentrated on promoting the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S., and on having exchanges with the U.S. government, local governments, research institutes, and overseas Taiwanese communities.
Cheng’s 11-day trip to the U.S. will end in New York and he will return to Taiwan on Mar. 11. He is one of the four Taiwanese mayors having planned to visit the United States this year.
On Friday, Keelung City Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) will also embark on a journey to the United States for 11 days, traveling to five cities, including New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.
Lin’s trip will then be followed by Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who departs Taiwan on Mar. 16. Kaohisung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) is scheduled to travel to the U.S. between April and May, but he will first visit China later this month.
Meeting with the senators and congressmen on Tuesday, Cheng expressed his appreciation for the bipartisan support shown by the U.S. Congress towards Taiwan and their recognition of Taiwan’s democracy.
Cheng also extended his hope of seeing the U.S. government showing more support for Taiwan in economy and trade, security, and other areas, said the city government via a statement issued on Thursday.