President Tsai Ing-wen met the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, shortly after she arrived in the country on Monday, local time. But reporters accompanying Tsai were dismayed to only find out about the meeting when it was broadcast on national television.
Tsai is in Nicaragua to attend the inauguration of Ortega to his third consecutive term as president on Tuesday.
Presidential spokesperson Alex Huang confirmed on Tuesday, Taiwan time, that there had not been a meeting time on the official itinerary. But that the meeting had been planned two weeks ago, time and tiredness permitting.
"In the past, the president of Nicaragua has been a bit more free, so basically today he considered that we had come a long distance and hoped [President Tsai] could have a rest after she got off the plane. And if the time permitted, we would try to work something out after getting off the plane, so we didn't write a definite time on the itinerary," said Huang.
Foreign minister David Lee that Tsai arrived at her hotel at 5:30pm local time and a phone call at 6.10pm set up a 6.30 meeting. The meeting lasted for an hour and 45 minutes and was conducted in a cheerful atmosphere, Lee said.