US reviews Taiwan president-elect's visa application
( dpa ) - The United States has received Taiwan president-elect Ma Ying-jeou's application to visit the US and is reviewing his application, Taiwan press said on Tuesday.
The Central News Agency (CNA) quoted a US State Department official as telling a US-based Taiwan correspondent as confirming the US had received Ma's application.
Douglas Spelman, from the State Department's East Asia and Pacific Affairs section, said the US would handle Ma's application in line with Washington's Taiwan Relations Act, its three communiques with China and the "one China" policy.
Ma, from Taiwan's largest opposition party the Chinese Nationalist Party, won the presidential election Saturday and will be inaugurated on May 20.
Ma has said he wants to visit the US, Japan and Singapore - Taiwan's three most important allies despite lack of diplomatic ties - before he is sworn in.
Meanwhile, a US think tank has already invited Ma to visit the US before his inauguration.
"Isn't it great if Ma could come and explain what he is going to be doing?" Steve Orlins, president of the NY-based group National Committee on US-China Relations, told Taiwan's ETTV on Monday.
Analysts said the three countries are eager to talk with Taiwan's new president but are also afraid of angering China as Beijing sees Taiwan as its breakaway province and bars Beijing's allies from receiving Taiwan's president.
But the analysts said that the three countries can soften the diplomatic controversy by inviting Ma to visit before his inauguration.
Taiwan is recognized by only 23 countries. More than 170 countries recognize China and shun formal contact with Taiwan because they see the island as part of China.