President has no plans to pay condolence visit to Thailand

The Presidential Office denied media reports Monday that President Tsai Ing-wen (???) had intended to visit Thailand to pay her last respects to that country's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away Oct. 13, but gave up the idea due to the absence of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"There is no such plan," Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (???) said.

Tsai visited the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei earlier that day, where she paid her respects in front of photos of the late king.

Accompanied by Foreign Minister David Lee (???) and Piroon Laismit, the executive director of the Thailand office, Tsai extended her deepest condolences to the Thai royal family and the people of Thailand for their loss of a great leader in a book of condolences at the memorial.

Tsai signed her message as "Ing-wen Tsai, president, Republic of China (Taiwan), Oct.17, 2016."

According to media reports, the government had planned to let Tsai personally pay a visit of condolence, and China Airlines had received a directive to arrange a charter flight for her.

However, because Taiwan has no official diplomatic relations with Thailand, and because China's leaders will pay a visit of condolence to the country, the Presidential Office has come up with an alternative plan that would involve sending instead a delegation to pay homage to the late Thai king, the media said.

This, however, was denied by Piroon.

Piroon also said he did not know whether the Thai government has extended an invitation to Taiwan, adding that the king died unexpectedly and that funeral and related arrangements are still being made.

However, he thanked Tsai, the government and the people of Taiwan for their kind wishes.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel