Former premier to head delegation to Trump inauguration ceremony
Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Former Premier Yu Shyi-kun will lead a Taiwanese delegation on behalf of the government to the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump next month, the Presidential Office spokesman said Friday.
Yu, a senior Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member who served as premier and secretary-general of the Presidential Office under the former DPP administration of President Chen Shui-bian, will lead the 11-member delegation that includes lawmakers from across the political spectrum to the Jan. 20 inauguration, Alex Huang said.
The government is sending the delegation to show how much Taiwan values a close relationship with the United States, but also in response to the U.S. delegation that attended the inauguration of President Tsai Ing-wen in May, Huang said. The U.S. delegation was led by former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
The Taiwanese delegation will include Yu's wife Yang Bao-yu, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung, Chiayi County Magistrate Chang Hua-kuan, National Security Council advisor Tung Chen-yuan, DPP lawmaker Chen Ting-fei, Kuomintang lawmakers Lu Yu-ling, Ko Chih-en and Lin Wei-chou, lawmaker Lim Tshiong-tso of the New Power Party and Chen Yi-chieh from the People First Party, according to Huang.
The delegation is scheduled to depart on Jan. 16. During their time in the U.S. they will also meet with U.S. politicians, think tank experts and Taiwanese expatriates, Huang said.
The delegation will return to Taiwan on Jan. 23.
The announcement came after a phone call between Trump and Tsai earlier this month, during which Tsai congratulated him on winning the U.S. presidential election and Trump extended his congratulations on her electoral victory earlier in the year.
The two leaders also discussed economic and defense issues and Tsai expressed her hope for more bilateral exchanges and contacts.
The Trump-Tsai call was the first interaction of its kind since the U.S. switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in January 1979. (Courtesy of CNA)