Taiwan president to stop in US on foreign trip

Aug. 12, 2008, 10:41 a.m. (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) Taiwan's new president will stop off in the United States on his way to and from Latin America during his first foreign trip.

The U.S. State Department says Ma Ying-jeou will be in Los Angeles, California, on Tuesday and Wednesday. On his return to Taiwan, he will stop Sunday and Monday in San Francisco in upstate California. Taiwan's rival China often bristles when Taiwan leaders stop in the United States.

Ma is traveling to Paraguay for the Aug. 15 inauguration of President-elect Fernando Lugo and then on to the Dominican Republic.

In April, Lugo said he would end Asuncion's 51-year relationship with Taipei and recognize Beijing.

His foreign-minister-designate indicated in June that she wanted to "review" Paraguay's ties to Taiwan, but she subsequently decided not to take the job. Neither her replacement nor Lugo have spoken since then about Paraguay's future relationship with Taiwan, which China considers a rebellious province.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. They often battle to win diplomatic allies around the world.