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President Tsai delivers remarks before boarding plane bound for Central America
President Tsai delivers remarks before boarding plane bound for Central America

On the morning of January 7, President Tsai Ing-wen departed on a nine-day, eight-night trip, codenamed the "Ing-Jie Project," to visit four diplomatic allies of Taiwan in Central America. Before boarding her plane, the president delivered remarks, stating that in addition to solidifying alliances and seizing on opportunities for Taiwan to take to the world stage, this trip is also intended to enhance bilateral cooperation with the countries being visited, and to show support for all those from Taiwan who are living and working overseas.

The following is a translation of President Tsai's complete remarks:

We will soon be embarking on the "Ing-Jie Project," a nine-day, eight-night trip to visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador. The trip has been undertaken in response to invitations from the heads of state of those four countries. While there we will also attend the inauguration of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. I thank the ambassadors and representatives of those four countries for being here to see us off.

We have a very busy itinerary on this trip, and will fly more than 30,000 kilometers in total. I want to thank all of our colleagues who took part in the preparations.

This is my second overseas trip since I took office in May of last year. During this time we have consistently conducted our diplomatic work in accordance with the principle of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits" while engaging in talks and mutually beneficial cooperation to pursue our goal of win-win progress together with our diplomatic allies.

We've set two important tasks for ourselves on this trip:

First, we want to solidify alliances and seize on opportunities for Taiwan to take to the world stage.

The four countries we will visit are all long-time friends of the Republic of China. The purpose of this trip is to reaffirm our deep friendship, which only grows stronger with each passing year.

For this reason, I will not be meeting just with the heads of state of our diplomatic allies, but will also take advantage of opportunities to interact with the heads of state and representatives of other countries. We intend to demonstrate to the international community that Taiwan is a capable and responsible cooperation partner.

Second, we want to enhance bilateral cooperation, and to show support for all those from Taiwan who are living and working overseas.

The markets of Central America are full of opportunity and development potential. We will join with our Central American allies in discussing how to promote cooperative projects that better meet the needs of both sides. Our key objective is to enhance economic and trade ties and work together in line with the principle of "mutual assistance for mutual benefits," so that our diplomatic work can yield concrete positives that benefit our national interests.

I hope to take advantage of this opportunity to give encouragement to our diplomats and technical mission staff who are out there working on the front lines. And I want to hear the thoughts and ideas of people from our expatriate communities in Central America. As president, on behalf of our country, I want to thank them for their hard work and listen to their suggestions, so that we can evaluate the success of our diplomatic work.

The world is changing. All national leaders are looking for a new direction for their countries. For me, this is an important responsibility. The people of Taiwan are able and willing to make bigger contributions to the international community, and we are confident that we can find more opportunities on the world stage. So, we'll be getting underway now.

Among those at the airport to see President Tsai and the delegation off were Acting Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Wu Chih-chung (吳志中), Overseas Community Affairs Council Vice Minister Roy Yuan-Rong Leu (呂元榮), and the ambassadors and representatives of the four Central American diplomatic allies that the president is scheduled to visit.

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