US re­mains open to pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates who wish to visit: AIT

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The Amer­i­can In­sti­tute in Tai­wan (AIT) yesterday re­it­er­ated its stance that the U.S. wel­comes the Kuom­intang (KMT) to send its pres­i­den­tial can­di­date to visit as the on­go­ing row over whether KMT pres­i­den­tial hope­ful Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) will em­bark on such a trip con­tin­ued.

AIT spokesman Mark Zim­mer yesterday told lo­cal media there has been no change in the U.S. stance and that it wel­comes all pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates to visit if they are in­ter­ested.

“Visi­tors make their own de­ci­sions. If the KMT can­di­date vis­its, we’ll treat her well, as we did Dr. Tsai (Tsai Ing-wen). But, we don’t de­cide whether they visit or not,” Zim­mer noted.

Zim­mer made the re­marks when asked to com­ment on Hung say­ing she might have other KMT mem­bers, in­clud­ing KMT Chair­man Eric Chu ( ) or her fu­ture run­ning mate, re­place her on a U.S. tour.

Dur­ing a round­table with lo­cal media last Wed­nes­day, new AIT Di­rec­tor Kin Moy said Washington is will­ing to ac­cord Hung the same level of cour­tesy as her Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) coun­ter­part Tsai should she de­cide to visit the U.S.

If Hung ex­presses in­ter­est in vis­it­ing the U.S. as the KMT’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, Moy said the U.S. would welcome her to share her views on a wide range of top­ics with a broad spec­trum of Amer­i­cans.

Asked to com­ment on whether she will visit the U.S., Hung pre­vi­ously said that she is un­likely to do so be­cause her cam­paign had rather a late start, and she be­lieves it is more worth­while to spend the time elec­tion­eer­ing in Tai­wan.

Hung yesterday fur­ther dis­closed that her cam­paign staff are also con­sid­er­ing hav­ing Chu or Hung’s fu­ture run­ning mate visit the U.S. in­stead.

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