AP NEWS

Wyoming governor still hopeful Taiwan president will visit

June 27, 2019
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon talks while his spokesman, Michael Pearlman, looks on during a news conference in Cheyenne, Wy., Thursday, June 27, 2019. Gov. Gordon says he remains optimistic the president of Taiwan will visit his state despite a recent skirmish between Gordon and the mayor of Cheyenne over the issue. Gordon said at a news conference Thursday his staff remain in contact with President Tsai Ing-wen's office about a possible visit during Cheyenne Frontier Days, a celebration of rodeo and Western culture held every year in July. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A visit by the president of Taiwan to Wyoming remains a definite possibility despite Gov. Mark Gordon’s recent skirmish with Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr over the issue, Gordon said Thursday.

Gordon’s s staff members remain in contact with President Tsai Ing-wen’s office about visiting during Cheyenne Frontier Days, a celebration of rodeo and Western culture held every year in late July.

Gordon’s office also has been in touch with the U.S. State Department and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis about the logistics of a visit. The Taiwanese delegation would visit Wyoming by way of Colorado, Gordon said at a news conference.

“The president of Taiwan is quite anxious to come to Wyoming,” Gordon said.

In a June 3 news release, Orr accused Gordon of slamming his fists on a table and yelling profanity at her during a meeting about coordinating planning for the visit.

Gordon apologized for using foul language. Orr spokesman Michael Skinner said Thursday he’s not aware of any lingering tension between Orr and Gordon.

Tsai has become a somewhat frequent traveler to the U.S., visiting Texas in 2018 and Hawaii in March. Her visits draw criticism from China, which views Taiwan as a renegade province.

Wyoming seeks to export coal and larger volumes of beef to Taiwan. The state opened a trade office in Taipei during an October visit by then-Gov. Matt Mead, state lawmakers and other Wyoming officials.

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