Ma to visit Caribbean allies, stopover in US, could visit Harvard
President Ma Ying- jeou will visit Taiwan’s three diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean region later this month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.
Ma will travel to the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua, as part of an eight-day trip scheduled to last July 11-18, Deputy Foreign Minister Simon Ko (
) announced yesterday.
In his trip to Central America, the president’s charter flight is scheduled to make a stopover in Boston before visiting the allies, he said.
On his way back, Ma will make another transit stop in Los Angeles before heading back to Taipei, he added.
The state visit to the allies is meant to further solidify the R.O.C.’s ties with these diplomatic allies and allow the president to personally inspect the fruitful re- sults of the “flexible diplomacy” adopted by his administration, he said.
Ko confirmed that it is the ministry’s plan to have Ma visit his alma mater, Harvard University, during his stay in Boston.
However, more details of the itinerary are still being discussed with U.S. counterparts and have not yet finalized. Ma is a Harvard Law School graduate.
Even though Ma will not make a speech at the university, sources told local media yesterday that Ma is expected to hold a closed-door meeting with students and faculty at Harvard during his visit there.
This upcoming trip could make Ma the first R.O.C. president to visit Harvard if it goes ahead.
A previous R. O. C. president who made a speech at his alma mater in the U.S. was Lee Tenghui ( ), who in 1995 returned to Cornell University to deliver a speech at a reunion of graduate school alumni.
The president is also expected to deliver an address before the Congress of the Dominican Republic during his visit, sources said.
A total of 87 people, including Foreign Minister David Lin, National Security Council chief Kao Hua-chun as well as other officials and lawmakers, will be taking part in Ma’s delegation.
This upcoming trip will mark the 11th overseas state visit by Ma since taking office in May 2008.