Vice President-elect Lai to attend U.S. National Prayer Breakfast

Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) Vice President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) departed Taiwan on Sunday for the United States to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual gathering of political and religious leaders in Washington, D.C.

The high-profile event, which is organized by the U.S.-based Christian organization The Fellowship, is scheduled for Feb. 5-6 this year, and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to attend.

In a statement issued Monday, Lai's office said he is attending the National Prayer Breakfast in an individual capacity and will return to Taiwan on Feb. 9.

During the trip, his office said, Lai will meet with members of think tanks and overseas Taiwanese organizations and make a brief stop in New York.

Lai will also use the opportunity to thank political figures in the U.S. for voicing their support for Taiwan to join the World Health Organization, according to his office.

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) is accompanying Lai on the trip.

Ambassadors of various countries are typically invited to the annual event. Taiwan officials who have attended in the past include the country's current representative to the U.S. Stanley Kao (高碩泰), former representative to the U.S. King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).