Ma meets LA mayor, overseas compatriots before heading home
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday met with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as well as over 300 overseas compatriots in the city, drawing an end to his pan-American visit.
August 21, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The president's visit to L.A. was shortened to six hours from the previously planned three days, due to concerns over Tropical Storm Trami, which is currently heading in the direction of Taiwan.
Ma previously made a stopover in New York City en route to the R.O.C.'s diplomatic allies in the Caribbean and South America, stopping over in L.A. on his way back to Taiwan.
Judging from the number of people that the president has met in the U.S., as well as the level of their official ranks, Taiwan evidently has very stable relations with the U.S., one official reportedly said.
In describing current U.S.-Taiwan relations, American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Raymond F. Burghardt reportedly said that it is as if the sun has come out shining brightly.
After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, the president was taken immediately to a banquet held at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City hotel.
Arriving at the hotel, Ma was welcomed by several hundred overseas compatriots, while the R.O.C. national flag flew above the hotel.
Despite the warm welcome, several pan-green supporters were seen outside of the hotel protesting against the Ma administration.
Yesterday reportedly marked the first time that the president has openly accepted interviews in Los Angeles.
The president was originally scheduled to have breakfast with Garcetti, but it was cancelled due to the president's shortened schedule. Ma, however, was able to meet the mayor.
During the banquet, the president stressed that all foreign aid given to the R.O.C.'s diplomatic allies have to be justified, legal and effective, brushing off allegations claiming the contrary.