Tsai to transit in Houston, San Francisco on Central American trip

President Tsai Ing-wen (???) will make two stopovers in the United States -- in Houston and San Francisco -- on her nine-day Central American trip next month, the Presidential Office said Friday.

Tsai is scheduled to depart Taiwan on Jan. 7 for Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador, four of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in Central America, said Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (???).

The president is due to arrive in Houston at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7 and stay for one night before continuing on her state visit to the four countries, Huang told the press.

On the return leg, Tsai will stop over in San Francisco on the night of Jan. 13 and depart for Taiwan the next day, he said.

During her stopovers in the U.S. cities, Tsai will meet with Taiwan expatriates and visit some industries, as is customary for Taiwan leaders transiting though the U.S., Huang said.

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official ties, also said that the transit arrangements for Tsai were based on long-standing U.S. practice and were consistent with the unofficial nature of the U.S.' relations with Taiwan.

"These transits are undertaken out of consideration for the safety, comfort, convenience and dignity of the traveler," AIT acting spokeswoman Alys Spensley told CNA.

Spensley said the stopovers will be private and unofficial and that AIT Chairman James Moriarty will greet Tsai in Houston and San Francisco.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel