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  • President Ma's second day itinerary in the Kingdom of Swaziland
  • Date
2012/04/16
President Ma's second day itinerary in the Kingdom of Swaziland. President Ma Ying-jeou's second day itinerary in the Kingdom of Swaziland. President Ying-jeou Ma's second day itinerary in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
President Ma Ying-jeou on April 16 spent a second day in the Kingdom of Swaziland, the final leg of his journey to African allies codenamed "Project Benevolence and Friendship." At 7:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. Taipei time), the president and Swaziland's King Mswati III went jogging together at the Somhlolo National Stadium and took advantage of the opportunity to interact in an informal setting.

Prior to their run, the two leaders did push-ups and went for a jog. President Ma circled the track eight times, spending slightly over 18 minutes in completing the 3,200-meter run. King Mswati III also completed the course. The two leaders exhibited a high level of energy and displayed a spirit of sportsmanship.

At 9:00 a.m., President Ma went to the mausoleum and memorial hall for King Sobhuza II, where he presented a wreath and paid his respects. The president also made an inscription, "We will always remember the King," in an expression of the ROC's respect for King Sobhuza II. The president then visited the intensive care unit and kidney dialysis center at RFM Hospital, where he praised the doctors and nurses from the ROC medical mission for the great dedication they have demonstrated in Swaziland. He also encouraged them to continue to do their best.

After leaving the hospital, President Ma then traveled to Matsapha Industrial Zone to visit the Tex-Ray Industrial Co., Ltd., a Taiwan textile plant located in the zone. The president was briefed on the factory's operations by Tex-Ray Chairman Ray Lin (林瑞岳) and then received a guided tour to understand the work situation for factory employees. President Ma chatted with workers in the garment pressing area of the plant to better understand the job opportunities that Taiwan companies in the zone have generated.

In an effort to assist the people of Swaziland, World Vision Taiwan previously donated 1,080 tonnes of white rice to the Swaziland chapter of the organization. President Ma also took advantage of his visit to head to the granary to inspect the storage of the rice. The president made remarks while at the facility, stating that World Vision Swaziland is planning to distribute rice to families who need the staple and work for it. The president said that this method not only helps to address poverty, but also encourages the recipients to work. Even more important, he said, is that the people who receive the rice will feel a sense of dignity, since their work is being rewarded, adding that this is bound to have considerable benefits for the Swaziland.

President Ma remarked that World Vision Taiwan raised the funds on its own to ship the 1,080 tonnes of white rice to Swaziland in a move that not only assists the people of Swaziland, but also helps to enhance bilateral friendship. The president said that the bags of white rice produced in Taiwan represent the compassion and concern of the people and government of the ROC, and also serve as a symbol of the friendship between the two countries.

The president emphasized that the ROC is a peace-loving nation and is also willing to share its resources with other countries in its role as a provider of humanitarian aid. In other words, he remarked, promoting peace and humanitarian aid are the most important objectives of the ROC's foreign affairs work. At the same time, he expressed his best wishes for smooth and successful operations for World Vision Swaziland, saying that the people of Swaziland will be the biggest beneficiaries of this activity.

In the afternoon, the president paid a visit to the National Handicrafts Training Center where he briefly observed as teachers taught classes in oil painting, ceramics, sewing, plumbing, electrical repair, and computers. He also sampled the sweet potato fries and sweet potato balls made by students there. While at the facility, the president applauded the vocational training work carried out by the ROC's technical mission in that nation, saying that it has yielded enormous results.
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