On the night before Lunar New Year's eve, President Tsai Ing-wen recorded a special video for her fellow citizens and ethnic Chinese worldwide, wishing them a productive and successful new year.
A translation of the president's full remarks is as follows:
Hello, as we approach Lunar New Year's eve, I want to take this opportunity to wish an early Happy New Year to the people of Taiwan and our ethnic Chinese friends around the world.
During the Lunar New Year, when most of us are reuniting with family, many people in Taiwan are still hard at work. Our armed forces, police, firefighters, drivers, captains, pilots, and airport employees are even busier than usual this time of year.
On behalf of the citizens of Taiwan, I want to thank these everyday heroes for their service. We owe the safety and convenience of our new year's vacation to them.
Tomorrow marks the eve of the Lunar New Year, a holiday celebrated by ethnic Chinese worldwide.
I wish you all a Happy New Year (Mandarin), Happy New Year (Taiwanese).
To Taiwanese that speak Hakka: Happy New Year.
For the many overseas Chinese who speak Cantonese: Happy New Year.
And for our friends who speak Teochew (Chaozhou): Happy New Year.
In Taiwan, we are able to maintain our cultural traditions, while also enjoying freedom and democracy. This is a blessing, and these are also the values that we Taiwanese are committed to upholding.
Those in places lacking democracy may not be able to understand this commitment.
We hope that ethnic Chinese all over the world can experience this blessing.
So here, I would like to make three New Year's wishes for our ethnic Chinese friends both at home and abroad. I hope that you may all enjoy democracy, freedom, and continued prosperity. In other words, I hope you have a great year.
Finally, many of our friends from across the globe visit Taiwan during the Lunar New Year. I want to welcome you all to the most friendly country in the world to celebrate the Lunar New Year with us. Happy Lunar New Year! And once again, I want to wish all of my fellow citizens a productive and successful new year!