President Ma Meets US State of Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle
President Ma Ying-jeou on the afternoon of November 18 at the Presidential Office met with US State of Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. President Ma, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC (Taiwan), extended a warm welcome to Governor Lingle.
President Ma commented that this is the second visit by Governor Lingle to Taiwan, the previous one being seven years ago. This also marks the third meeting between the two. The last time they met was in January 2003. At the time, he said, Governor Lingle had just assumed the governorship of Hawaii. Meanwhile, President Ma, who then was Taipei mayor, was the first foreign dignitary that Governor Lingle met in office.
President Ma said that Taiwan and Hawaii maintain close interaction and exchanges. He said that the Taiwan film Cape No. 7 won Best Narrative Film at the Hawaii Film Festival. The president also noted that Governor Lingle supports Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly and World Health Organization. He expressed his appreciation to her for her support in this regard. President Ma said that while he is aware that Governor Lingle faced some hurdles ahead of making this visit to Taiwan, the obstacles were able to be overcome. He said this demonstrates the deep friendship between Taiwan and Hawaii.
President Ma also said Taiwan and Hawaii share a long history of strong relations. He noted that the ROC's founding father Dr. Sun Yat-sen in Honolulu established the Revive China Society, which dates back 114 years. He said that Dr. Sun is revered by people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. The president added that a bronze statue of Dr. Sun was just last week returned to its historical position in the Entrance Hall in the Presidential Building. The president said that Dr. Sun studied at two high schools in Hawaii and looked upon Hawaii as his home away from home.
Governor Lingle thanked President Ma for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with her. She and the president exchanged opinions on the development of the new energy industry, the global financial crisis, and the improvement in cross-strait relations.
Governor Lingle was joined by Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Director Theodore Em-Po Liu and University of Hawaii at Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office in the afternoon by Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Javier Ching-shan Hou. Also in attendance was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Ho Szu-yin.