Vice President-elect Lai on a trip to U.S. made possible by Taiwan Travel Act

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Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (center)

Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (center) (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) is currently on a trip to the United States to attend the National Prayer Breakfast.

On Monday Lai met with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in Washington D.C. Lai’s trip to the U.S. is made possible by the Taiwan Travel Act passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Donald Trump in March 2018.

The law, which promotes high-level exchanges between the governments of the two countries, is seen by Taiwan as the most important breakthrough in the Taiwan-U.S. relations since the Taiwan Relations Act in 1979.

"Lai's trip to the U.S. capital was the first made by a Taiwanese vice president-elect since Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, though his office has said that Lai's visit is in an individual capacity," CNA said. "The main purpose of Lai's trip is to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual, high-profile gathering of political and religious leaders that is being held Feb. 5-6."

Lai received an invitation to the event months before being elected vice president in Taiwan's presidential election on Jan. 11, according to former Democratic Progressive Party legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), CNA reported.

Hsiao Bi-khim (left) and William Lai. (Hsiao Bi-khim FB Photo)