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President Tsai meets government ethics delegation from Central American allies
President Tsai meets government ethics delegation from Central American allies

On the morning of April 24, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation of senior officials from agencies that promote clean government in Taiwan's Central American allies. During the meeting, the president emphasized that every country has to address the challenge of fighting corruption. She also expressed hope that Taiwan and its Central American allies can exchange experiences in anti-corruption work and judicial reform so that together, everyone can pursue national progress and enhance their bilateral friendships.

In remarks, President Tsai stated that since taking office she has visited Central America twice, upholding the principle of "steadfast diplomacy based on mutual assistance for mutual benefits." Besides personally visiting diplomatic allies, she also values each opportunity to exchange views with officials from diplomatic allies when they visit Taiwan. The president said that these interactions facilitate closer friendships. She then said she was happy to welcome this delegation of officials from Guatemala, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, and hoped they will have a productive visit.

President Tsai pointed out that over the past few years, Taiwan has signed judicial cooperation agreements with Honduras and Guatemala, and agreements on police cooperation with Belize and the Dominican Republic. She noted that anti-corruption work is an important issue in the judicial and law enforcement fields, and expressed confidence that through these agreements, Taiwan and Central American countries can have even more exchanges to address anti-corruption work.

President Tsai pointed out that every country has to address the challenge of fighting corruption, and that the United Nations places great importance on anti-corruption work. Although Taiwan is not a formal member of the United Nations, we are as determined as any other country to pursue clean government. Taiwan has not only established a specialized anti-corruption agency—the Agency Against Corruption of the Ministry of Justice—it has also taken the initiative to pass the Act to Implement the United Nations Convention against Corruption. She suggested that the quality of a country's investment climate is closely related to clean government, and that Taiwan's continued efforts to promote clean government are designed to create a more attractive investment climate.

The president further noted that, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 2017 issued by Transparency International, Taiwan was ranked 29th out of 180 countries and territories around the world. Though that was Taiwan's highest ranking in the past decade, she said, the nation will not rest on its laurels. This August, Taiwan will issue its first "national anti-corruption report," and invite international experts and scholars to be part of the review process. "We want the whole world to see that Taiwan can make clean, competent government a reality."

President Tsai also mentioned that Taiwan has been working for judicial reform for the past two years so that the judiciary will once again belong to the people, and create a judicial system that guarantees human rights, that the people can trust, and that is easily accessible to citizens. She stated that all her guests had a legal background and a long track record in legal practice, so they can definitely understand the importance of ethical government and judicial reform. She voiced hope that Taiwan and its diplomatic allies can share experiences, and that together, they can all pursue progress. She also expressed hope that the delegation would come to a deeper friendship with Taiwan during their visit.

Included in the delegation were Guatemala Attorney General Thelma Aldana, Belize Attorney General Michael George Peyrefitte, and representatives of anti-corruption agencies from Taiwan's diplomatic allies.

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