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Taiwan VP stays night in US, meets with officials

Lai Ching-te stops over in LA, meets with AIT chairman in person and members of Congress virtually

(Twitter, Lai Ching-te photo)

(Twitter, Lai Ching-te photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) was received by the top Taiwanese envoy to the U.S. and American Institute Taiwan Chair James Moriaty during a stopover in Los Angeles Tuesday (Jan. 25) before the final leg of his trip to Honduras to attend the inauguration of the ally's new president.

Upon the arrival of Lai's delegation at 6:30 a.m., Representative Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Moriaty boarded the plane to have an exchange with the vice president. Upon disembarking, Lai was greeted by Maria Fernanda Rivera, consul general of Honduras in Los Angeles.

The delegation was later escorted to a hotel downtown. Lai posted a tweet while en route to his accommodations:

The delegation was greeted outside the hotel by hundreds of Taiwanese and Taiwanese Americans and briefly interacted with the cheering crowd. Lai thanked those gathered for their relentless efforts to promote bilateral relations as well as speak up for Taiwan on the international stage. The team stayed overnight at the Hilton Universal City Hotel.

Starting from 9 a.m. that morning, Lai was scheduled to talk to American politicians in seven online meetings, including a videoconference with 17 members of Congress. CNA reported that Lai was joined virtually by Senator Ed Markey, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific; Representative Mark Takano; Taiwanese American Representative Ted Lieu; Representative Judy Chu; and Representative Young Kim.

The U.S. State Department previously described Lai's brief stay in the country as personal and unofficial.

Lai was expected to depart on Wednesday (Jan. 26) at 6:30 a.m. local time and arrive in Honduras at 2:30 p.m. after a six-hour flight. The vice president will attend the inauguration of President-elect Xiomara Castro on Thursday (Jan. 27).

Updated : 2022-05-20 07:05 GMT+08:00