President Tsai Ing-wen and her delegation completed their visit to Tuvalu at about 5:00 p.m. (local time) on November 1 (1:00 p.m. November 1, Taipei time). The president was in Tuvalu on a diplomatic mission dubbed "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future—2017 State Visits to Pacific Allies," and was the guest of honor at a traditional folk send-off ceremony hosted by Tuvalu Governor-General Iakoba Taeia Italeli, Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga, and other senior government officials.
The send-off ceremony began with a traditional dance, and President Tsai sprinkled perfume on the performers, an expression of praise in Tuvalu. The atmosphere was festive and friendly as a representative of the performance troupe then presented the president with a traditional hand-woven mat.
In remarks, President Tsai thanked her friends from Tuvalu for performing the dance. "Thank you," she said, "for your beauty and your passion. You've given me a keen appreciation for Tuvaluan enthusiasm." The president stated that although her stay in Tuvalu was brief, she was deeply impressed by the warm hospitality she received. She again thanked Prime Minister Sopoaga for his kind invitation and the Tuvalu friends for their thoughtful arrangements, and for the support they've shown Taiwan.
Stating that this visit had afforded opportunities to directly get to know the people of Tuvalu and experience the nation's beauty, President Tsai noted that she had seen many of the positive results of bilateral cooperation. She also expressed hope that the two countries will not only preserve but also expand on what's been achieved. Taiwan will continue working with Tuvalu, she said, to enhance cooperation projects.
President Tsai indicated that Taiwan will methodically work to accumulate achievements and achieve shared goals. We have gathered here today under one roof, she said, having taken a great step forward. She then said that in the future, we will work hand-in-hand to further develop our bilateral friendship and achieve sustainable development.
Finally, as she prepared to board her plane, President Tsai waved good-bye to everyone who came to see her off, thus concluding the visit to Tuvalu.