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President Tsai attends welcome reception hosted by Office of the Governor of Guam
President Tsai attends welcome reception hosted by Office of the Governor of Guam
2017-11-04

President Tsai Ing-wen and her delegation made a transit stop in Guam on their return from a diplomatic trip dubbed "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future—2017 State Visits to Pacific Allies." Arriving at the A. B. Won Pat International Airport in Guam at about 2:00 p.m on November 3 local time (around noon Taipei time), Minister Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興) of the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), Director-General Bruce Hung (洪振榮) of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Brisbane, and Chairman James Moriarty of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) boarded the plane to greet President Tsai. At the foot of the airstair, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo presented the president with a floral wreath, and she then proceeded to the Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor's Complex to attend a welcome reception hosted by Governor Calvo. 

A transcription of President Tsai's remarks at the reception follows. She greets the audience by saying "hafa adai", or "hello" in the native Chamorro language, and was rewarded with a round of applause: 

Governor Calvo, Lieutenant-Governor Tenorio, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:

I've just learned this: Hafa adai!

Before I begin, I want to express my sympathies following the terrorist attack in New York a few days ago. I want to emphasize that regardless of whether it's anti-terrorism, recovery from natural disasters, or North Korean issues, Taiwan stands in solidarity with the people of the United States.

It is a great pleasure to see all of you here in Guam. I know that the governor is travelling to Hawaii this afternoon. I want to especially thank you for taking the time to greet me at the airport and hosting this wonderful event. Your actions mean a lot to us. But given the fact that you have a plane to catch, I promise to keep it short.

First, as I arrived at the airport, I experienced what many Taiwanese people feel when they come to your island each year. The feeling was: "It's great to be in Guam." Your comfortable weather, sunny skies, mountains, and beaches, all make Guam an ideal place to visit. This is why 50,000 Taiwanese people travel to Guam each year, making us your third-largest source of tourists. We expect this number to grow even further with Taiwan's participation in the Global Entry program as the 3rd country in East Asia.

I'm also excited to be here for another reason. Taiwan and Guam share a unique relationship. Our historical and cultural roots date back centuries. Research suggests that the Chamorro people of Guam are very closely related to the indigenous people of Taiwan. Like the peoples of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands – which I just visited – our peoples come from a common Austronesian origin. We look forward to working together to explore those roots, in search of our shared ancestry.

And finally, I also want to touch upon the close partnership we enjoy today. In addition to being Guam's third-largest source of tourists here, Taiwan is also an important investor here, too. We are cooperating on the promotion of trade and economic development, which will benefit both our societies. I want to thank your legislature for passing resolutions supporting Taiwan's participation in international organizations, including ICAO and the UNFCCC. Your efforts are appreciated by the people of Taiwan.

This partnership is strong. But I know we can do more. We look forward to discussing with Governor Calvo and his team to find further areas of potential cooperation. As I said when I met the governor in Taipei exactly a week ago, "Taiwan is very pleased to have a friend like yourself." Under your leadership, I'm confident we can bring Taiwan and Guam closer together.

Again, I want to thank the host of this event, Governor Calvo, for inviting us all here. Even though I am still a few hours away from Taiwan, your warm reception has already made us feel at home. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to transit here back from the South Pacific. I wish you a safe journey to Hawaii, and look forward to seeing you again soon. 

Shortly thereafter, Speaker Benjamin Cruz of the Guam Legislature greeted President Tsai by presenting her with a copy of a resolution welcoming her to Guam, and commending her policies to promote humanitarian aid, environmental protection and sustainable development. 

There was also a traditional Chamorro dance performance. President Tsai, accompanied by Lieutenant-Governor Ray Tenorio, then walked to an observation deck to take in the view, including the Latte of Freedom. A "latte" is a traditional stone pillar now seen as a symbol of Chammoro identity, and the president was impressed by Guam's efforts to preserve Chammoro culture.

Among those accompanying President Tsai at the reception were Secretary-General to the President Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維), OCAC Minister Wu Hsin-hsing, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung (陳時中), Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples Icyang Parod (夷將‧拔路兒), and Director-General Bruce Hung of TECO in Brisbane.

 
President Tsai arrives in Guam.
 
 
President Tsai receives flowers from a little girl in Guam.
 
 
President Tsai attends a welcome reception hosted by Office of the Governor of Guam.
 
 
President Tsai takes selfies in Guam.
 
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