President departs for pan-American visit
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou will lead a delegation today for an official visit to Paraguay to celebrate the inauguration of the country's new president and vice president, and will make his first-ever stopover in the U.S. city of New York, since his inauguration in 2008, en route to the South American country, the Central News Agency reported yesterday.
August 11, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
This will be Ma's eighth outbound visit to diplomatic allies after taking office in May 2008, but will be his first time making a stopover in New York. Ma has stopped at Hawaii and western cities in his past three U.S. stopovers.
Embarking on a special China Airlines plane, Ma and his delegation will arrive in New York on the evening of Aug. 11, and will then host a dinner in honor of overseas ethnic Chinese residing in New York, thanking them for their long-term support of Taiwan.
On Aug. 12, Ma will have a breakfast meeting with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and will also meet with several U.S. congressmen, including Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Eliot Engel, the U.S. Representative for New York's 16th congressional district.
Ma will then have a lunch meeting with ranking representatives from the U.S. financial and economic sectors to exchange views on global economic and commercial conditions.
On the afternoon of Aug. 12, Ma will visit the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, a major association of ethnic Chinese in New York, making him the first Republic of China (R.O.C.) president to visit the association.
Ma and his delegation are scheduled to fly to Haiti on Aug. 13 as part of expressing his support for post-quake reconstruction efforts, marking Ma's first visit to the Caribbean state in his capacity as the R.O.C. president.
Ma will arrive in Asuncion, capital of Paraguay, on the evening of Aug. 13 to attend the inauguration of new Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes and Vice President Juan Afara on Aug. 15.
During his stay in Asuncion, Ma will meet with outgoing President Luis Federico Franco Gomez as well as Cartes, and will be awarded an honorary doctorate title by the Universidad Catolica Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion.
After winding up his visit in Paraguay, Ma will visit three diplomatic allies in the Caribbeans — Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Saint Christopher and Nevis. Ma intends to talk with the leaders of the three island countries regarding construction projects for which Taiwan can assist. This will also be Ma's first time visiting the three countries.
On their return flight, Ma and his delegation will make a stopover in Los Angeles on Aug. 19, and will fly back to Taiwan on Aug. 22.