KMT VP candidate to visit U.S., Canada


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) vice presidential candidate Vincent Siew will set off for a 12-day visit to the United States and Canada Monday, the party’s presidential Campaign office announced yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference, Siew said he is visiting the United States on behalf of the party’s presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou.

According to Siew, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a quasi-official organization authorized by the U.S. government to handle exchanges with Taiwan, has invited Ma to visit the United States.

“As Ma is busy with a round-the-island community outreach tour, I’ll visit the United States on his behalf,” said Siew, a former premier who was also the KMT’s vice presidential candidate in the 2000 election in which the KMT ticket ended up a distant third.

Terming the visit as a “smiling journey of friendship,” Siew said frank communications, forging mutual trust and reinforcing substantive Taiwan-U.S. relations will be the main themes of his trip.

Siew said he will stay in Washington, D.C. for three days, during which he will make extensive contacts with American celebrities, ranging from administration officials, congressional members and business executives to think tank scholars and experts.

“I’ll assure them that if the KMT returns to power, its administration will prudently deal with Taiwan-U.S. relations and even the delicate triangular Taiwan-U.S.-China relations,” Siew said, adding that the new KMT administration will definitely lead Taiwan to be a peacemaker and not a troublemaker.

Most noteworthy in his U.S. itinerary are plans to meet with diplomatic policy advisers or aides of Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls, Siew said.

He will be accompanied by KMT Legislator Su Chi and John Feng, the country’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, on his U.S. visit.

According to Su, Siew will divulge “critical information” in his speech to be delivered Oct. 5 to an audience at the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council, which groups American companies with business interests in Taiwan.

Following his U.S. visit, Siew will travel to Canada for a similar campaign tour, during which he will meet with Canadian politicians business leaders and Taiwanese expatriates.