Taiwanese President Makes Quiet Visit to NYC
NEW YORK—President of the Republic of China, Ma Ying-jeou, is in New York City until Aug. 13 as part of a 12-day tour of the United States, the Caribbean, and Paraguay.
Ma is keeping a low profile while in New York. He held private meetings with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the President of New York University, but little was released to the public, and his interaction with the media was limited to a few remarks made to the press corps he brought with him from Taiwan.
He was also accompanied by King Pu-tsung, the Taiwanese ambassador in Washington, and Andrew Kao, the director-general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, which did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
According to Taiwanese media, Ma was accorded a presidential welcome: he was shepherded through a special exit at the John F. Kennedy International Airport, commonly used by visiting presidents, had a red carpet laid out for his retinue at the Sofitel Hotel, and was assigned a special security team by U.S. authorities.
Ma met with Bloomberg for breakfast on Monday morning. Bloomberg’s office declined to comment on the meeting, saying the discussion was private. Afterwards, he went to the 9/11 Memorial.
As a former student at NYU, Ma also stopped by the university where, according to Taiwanese media, NYU President John Sexton said “It is nice to see our graduates move out around the world and we are very, very privileged to have him here.”
He visited his former 9th-floor dorm room, and the library where he used to study.
In the afternoon, Ma went to the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), which is the leading pro-Taiwan hometown association in Chinatown. The CCBA, in a phone call, declined to comment on the visit.
Additional reporting by New Tang Dynasty