TAIPEI – Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen will stop over in Los Angeles and Houston, despite Chinese opposition, during her official trip to Paraguay and Belize, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu said in a press conference on Monday.
Tsai, on her fifth diplomatic tour since taking office in May 2016, will visit Paraguay, between Aug. 14-16, to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect of that country, Mario Abdo Benitez, scheduled for Aug. 15, Liu said.
The president will depart from Asuncion for Belmopan, Belize, on Aug. 16 and remain in that country until Aug. 18, where she will meet Governor General Colville Young and Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as address the parliament.
Tsai will depart from Taiwan on Aug. 12 and return on Aug. 20 and transit in Los Angeles before reaching Paraguay and stop over in Houston during her return journey, according to Liu, who did not disclose any details on the activities of the president in the United States.
This is Tsai’s second official visit to Paraguay, Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America, and her first to Belize, also a diplomatic ally of the island.
During her stay in Paraguay, Tsai will meet the new Paraguayan president and also the political leaders of the allied countries of Taiwan attending the inauguration ceremony, Liu added.
Taiwan has diplomatic ties with only 18 countries, 10 of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean, six in the South Pacific, one in Africa and the Vatican in Europe.
In little more than a year, Taiwan has lost two prominent allies in Latin America, Panama and the Dominican Republic, which have established diplomatic relations with China, as has Burkina Faso, the latest country to change sides.