New York, March 29 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in New York City Wednesday afternoon (local time) for a stopover en route to Central American diplomatic allies Guatemala and Belize.
While still on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the president was greeted by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairperson Laura Rosenberger and Taiwan's top envoy to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).
After arriving by motorcade at the Lotte New York Palace on Madison Avenue around 4 p.m., the president and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) briefly exchanged pleasantries with supporters waving Republic of China (Taiwan) flags, before quickly making their way into the hotel.
Later in the evening, Tsai attended a dinner banquet held at The Glasshouse, a private event space in New York, to meet with members of the overseas Taiwanese communities and others, including Rosenberger and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
At the dinner, Tsai thanked those in attendance for supporting Taiwan, saying that the country would continue to uphold the values of freedom and democracy.
The president added Taiwan's relations with the United States and other democratic partners were more important than ever given the enormous challenges faced by the country.
Tsai said Taiwan's facing of significant challenges gave the country reassurance that "we are stronger" when standing in solidarity with other democratic nations, she said.
The president also touched on the nation's growing importance on the international stage, as many countries around the world have come to seek partnerships with Taiwan for its role on the global supply chain.
Tsai cited Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s recent investment in Arizona as an example of this, which the president described as a demonstration of continuing Taiwan-U.S. economic cooperation and Taiwan's technological strength.
Rosenberger, meanwhile, described Taiwan, the United States' eighth-largest trading partner, as a "technological powerhouse."
The AIT chair said she was excited about the recent launch of negotiations on the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative for 21st Century Trade and also looked forward to making progress as both sides seek to expand cooperation on critical supply chains by increasing investment and trade.
She went on to praise Taiwan as a beacon of democracy and shared values that the U.S. is grateful to have as a partner.
During the event, Tsai also had a 30-minute one-on-one meeting with New Jersey Governor Murphy, according to Xavier Chang (張惇涵), deputy secretary-general to the president.
Chang said the president thanked the governor for attending the banquet and thanked him for his long-term support of Taiwan.
She also expressed hope Taiwan and New Jersey could continue to deepen the exchanges in high-tech, green energy and other related fields in the future, according to Chang.
Tsai, who last made a stopover in New York in July 2019 en route to Haiti in the Caribbean, will spend nearly two days in the city, during which time she is expected to address an event hosted by the Hudson Institute and receive a "global leadership award" from the think tank.