President and Madame Lee Teng-hui today presided over an welcome ceremony and hosted a state banquet in honor of visiting Liberian President and Madame Charles Ghankay Taylor and their delegation.
In an address at the welcome ceremony held this morning at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall complex in downtown Taipei, with a 21-gun salute to President Taylor and the reviewing of a guard of honor by the two presidents, President Lee, on behalf of the ROC government and people, extended his warm welcome to the Liberian president. He said that the cooperation and friendship between the ROC and the Republic of Liberia are growing further and deeper since the two countries resumed full diplomatic ties in October, 1989 and that President Taylor's visit will add a new chapter to the close bilateral relations.
In return, President Taylor expressed his gratitude for all the assistance the ROC government has extended to Liberia over the past years. Meanwhile, he noted that the ROC has gained enomous influence in international politics and economy but has been unfairly excluded from the United Nations. Liberia is concerned about this problem and will continue to support the ROC's bid to join the UN, he said.
In the state banquet which was held at the Office of the President in the evening, the two heads of state pledged to do their best to enhance the friendly relations between both countries.
President Lee pointed out that the ROC and the Republic of Liberia are the first republics in Asia and Africa, respectively, with their peoples loving peace, freedom and democracy. He added that Taipei is appreciative for Monrovia's staunch support for the ROC's entry into the UN and other international organizations. "For the common interests of both peoples, the ROC is willing to share its experience in economic development with Liberia and provide the necessary assistance to the west African nation," he stressed.
In his remarks, President Taylor expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality rendered by the ROC government and people during their stay here and reiterated Liberia's firm support for the ROC in the international arena. He hoped that this trip, which aims to better understand the "Taiwan Experience", will help him learn much of the ROC's economic policies and strengthen the bilateral cooperation.
Before the state banquet, both presidents met for a talk on international situation, regional affairs and other matters of mutual concerns, followed by a decoration ceremony in which they confered on each other with the ROC's Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon and the Liberian Knight Great Band of the Liberian Humane Order of African Redemption respectively.