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Taiwan elections

Taiwan presidential hopeful Lai avoids making waves on U.S. stopover

Vice president keeps itinerary in New York and San Francisco brief and under wraps

William Lai, the front-runner in Taiwan's 2024 presidential election, speaks at an event in San Francisco on Aug. 16.   © Reuters

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese Vice President William Lai kept diplomatic displays to a minimum during his brief, closely watched stopovers in the U.S. this week, playing it safe ahead of the island's January 2024 presidential election.

Lai is the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's candidate. Taiwanese presidential candidates traditionally go to the U.S. the year before the election, and Lai's brief stay there was seen as an opportunity to play up Taiwan's relationship with Washington.

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