Vice President and Madame Lien Chan, who are on a three-day visit to Grenada, this evening host a dinner in honor of leaders of countries in the Eastern Caribbean region. During the dinner, the Vice President made a speech to express his hope that the relations between the ROC and Eastern Caribbean countries will be strengthened to further the cordial ties of friendship and cooperation.
The full text of Vice President Lien's speech is as follows:
His Excellency Sir Daniel Williams, Governor-General of Grenada, and Lady Williams, The Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, and Mrs. Mitchell, The Honourable Edison James, Prime Minister of Dominica, The Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, The Right Honourable Sir James Mitchell, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is indeed a great honour and privilege for my wife and me to host this evening's dinner in honour of our friends in Grenada and our friends who have traveled here from Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent.
On this very happy occasion, may I first express, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of China, our warmest greetings to all the distinguished guests who are present this evening. I would also like to extend a hearty welcome to you all, on behalf of the members of the ROC delegation, including our Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Jason C. Hu.
As a first-time visitor to the Eastern Caribbean region, I have thoroughly enjoyed the natural beauty of Grenada and the warm friendship of the Grenadian people. I have to express again my sincere thanks and appreciation for the many courtesies and wonderful hospitality I have experienced during this visit. My only regret is that my schedule prevents me from staying longer in Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean, and from travelling to Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent. Therefore, I am looking forward to the opportunity of making a similar trip to the Eastern Caribbean region in the not-too-distant future.
During my stay in Grenada, I am very pleased to renew my friendship with His Excellency Sir Daniel Williams, Governor General, and the Honourable Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister, and to exchange views on matters of mutual interest. Moreover, on a multilateral level, I appreciate the opportunity to conduct a round-table meeting with the Prime Ministers of Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent. I am convinced that the meetings will serve to further strengthen the cooperative ties between our countries.
The Republic of China attaches great importance to its relations with our friends in the Caribbean region. We have sent agricultural technical missions to this region to render all possible assistance in the agricultural sector. We have offered various training courses in agriculture, industrial development, trade, international taxation, customs, information technology and small/medium sized enterprises, in order to share our expertise and developmental experience with our friends.
With a view to further strengthening the cordial ties of friendship and cooperation between the Republic of China and Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Government of the Republic of China will undertake a Social and Educational Development Project in the future. This project is expected to meet the need in each of the above-mentioned allies for the further development of general education and human resources.
The substance of our cooperation certainly runs deeper and wider than what I just mentioned. But, more importantly, we take pride in the fact that our nations share the same noble ideals and values of upholding democracy, freedom, human rights, world peace and international justice. Based on these ideals and values, I have no doubt that our ties of friendship and cooperation will continue to grow and flourish.
As you are aware, the Republic of China has built a strong economy in Taiwan, known as one of the "Four Tigers" in Asia. Being an observer of the World Trade Organization (WTO), my country has almost completed all the bilateral trade negotiations with our trading partners. I am confident that before long, Taiwan*s full accession to the World Trade Organization will be finalized. From there, we will seek to further strengthen our economic relations with all our friends.
At the same time, we have continued to face challenges in our efforts to participate in the United Nations and other international organizations. In this context, I wish to register our profound gratitude to our friends in the Caribbean region for the strong and firm support you have given to our bid to play a more constructive role in the international community especially by participating in the United Nations and its special agencies. We sincerely hope that with your continued support, we can keep up the momentum and reach our goal someday soon.
In conclusion, I wish to reassure you that the Republic of China is committed to enhancing the relations and friendship among us. The Republic of China will always be your partner for peace, growth and prosperity.
May I now invite all of you to rise and join me in a toast to the good health of His Excellency Sir Daniel Williams, Lady Williams and all the distinguished guests, and to the everlasting friendship among our nations.