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President Lee Hosts a State Banquet in Honor of President Preval of Haiti

The Presidents of the Republic of China and the Republic of Haiti reiterated today that they will continue to promote the cooperation between their countries in the areas of agriculture, industry, commerce, environmental protection and international affairs in order to enhance the well-being of their peoples.

President and Mrs. Lee hosted a state banquet this evening at the Grand Hyatt Taipei in honor of visiting President and Mrs. Rene Garcia Preval and other members of their delegation. Those attending the occasion included ROC Premier and Mrs. Vincent Siew, Secretary-General to the ROC President and Mrs. Huang Kun-huei, ROC Foreign Minister Jason Hu and members of the diplomatic corps to the ROC.

In his speech at the banquet, President Lee extended once again, on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China, his hearty welcome to President and Mrs. Preval and their delegation.

President Lee remarked that the Haitian people are diligent and honest, uphold democracy and freedom, and are known for their talent in artistic creativity. During the 194 years since its founding in the early 19th century, their predecessors have made tremendous sacrifices for and devoted themselves to the pursuit of national independence, survival and development. The unparalleled determination and perseverance shown by the Haitian martyrs are admirable, the President said. During the past 10 years, Haiti has won worldwide respect for its dedication to constitutional democracy and its struggle for the rights of its people, he added.

President Lee stated that although the Republic of China has experienced numerous setbacks and hardships since its establishment, through the concerted efforts of its citizens, the country has now achieved economic and political progress known throughout the world as the "Taiwan Experience." Therefore, the ROC fully understands the current position and objectives of Haiti, and is most willing to share with the Haitian people its accomplishments and experience over the years, he continued. The ROC is also willing to offer the maximum possible assistance to the economic construction and tourist development of Haiti, in order to add luster to this "Pearl of the Antilles Islands," he said.

President Lee also highly commended President Preval for the Haitian president's profound knowledge and experience, outstanding administration, and concern for the well-being of his citizens. During the more than two years of his presidency, President Preval has been unselfishly committed to safeguarding constitutional democracy, strengthening national infrastructure, actively promoting economic development, and implementing social welfare policy, in order to upgrade national productivity and improve the living standards of the people. President Lee said that he highly admired President Preval for the latter's remarkable performance and high popularity.

President Lee maintained that in recent years, the administrations of both the ROC and Haiti have been aimed at raising the morale of their citizens, creating new guideposts for their countries, and building a modern society of stability, peace and prosperity.

President Lee said that he is confident that the visit by President Preval will help promote the cooperation between the two countries in the areas of agriculture, industry, commerce, environmental protection and international affairs, and that it will further enhance the 42-year-old relations and friendship between them and thus, the common well-being of their peoples.

In response, President Preval expressed, once again, his sincere appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to his delegation by President Lee and the ROC government, and for the ROC's assistance to the government and people of Haiti.

He said that he looks forward to closer Haiti-ROC cooperation in the future, and to more political, economic, cultural and other exchanges. He also reiterated Haiti's firm support for the ROC in the international community.

Following the speeches, President Lee invited all of his guests to join him in a toast to the continued prosperity of the two countries and to the ever-lasting friendship between them.

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