President Tsai Ing-wen's series of state visits under the "Oceans of Democracy" theme continued on the afternoon of March 25 as she attended the inauguration ceremony for the Taiwan Agriculture and Livestock Education Center in Nauru set up by the Taiwan Technical Mission. The president applauded the technical mission for bringing Taiwan's agricultural technologies to Nauru and achieving great things, and hopes to see our technical missions continue to share Taiwan's experience in food and agricultural education with our friends so we can develop and move forward together.
The inauguration ceremony kicked off with President Tsai and President Baron Waqa jointly announcing the official opening of the Taiwan Agriculture and Livestock Education Center. The technical mission leader, Lee Yi-long (李宜龍), then explained the mission's farm management concepts and results.
In remarks, President Tsai said the inauguration of the Taiwan Agriculture and Livestock Education Center marked a new step forward in the cooperation between Taiwan and Nauru. She was very pleased to witness this important moment alongside President Waqa and our partners from the technical mission.
President Tsai went on to say that Taiwan attaches great importance to food and agriculture education. In addition to launching extension projects, our government has also passed legislation on food and agriculture education. With the establishment of this center, she said, we can now share our food and agriculture education experience with our friends, allowing us to develop and move forward together.
Looking ahead, President Tsai said this important work will depend on the efforts of colleagues from the Taiwan Technical Mission. Over the years, she said, they have achieved many successes by bringing Taiwanese agricultural technologies to Nauru. In addition to passing on farming skills, they have helped provide a more varied diet, improving people's health and deepening our nations' friendship.
Before setting out on every state visit, President Tsai said, she has always told Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) that we must visit local Taiwan Technical Missions. And of course, those visits aren't just about listening to briefings. She always hopes to give mission colleagues—people on the diplomatic frontline—as much encouragement as she can.
Last year, the president said, with the expertise and hard work of those at our Taiwan Technical Missions in mind, she asked Foreign Minister Wu to look into improving their benefits so we can take care of our colleagues, as well as ensure we can retain talent.
Starting from last year, the president emphasized, the subsidies provided to technical mission personnel for housing and children's education have been brought into line with staff from other government units posted overseas, giving more support to those toiling far from home.
President Tsai then noted that the technical mission leader, Lee Yi-long, and his girlfriend, Huang Mei-chun (黃美君), met while serving together on the technical mission, and that Mei-chun was also part of the delegation on this trip. The president noted that having just heard Mr. Lee's briefing, she got a very favorable impression of him, and since technical mission personnel are getting better benefits and higher salaries, the couple can really think about their future together.
President Tsai then noted that every time she goes abroad, the achievements that stem from the hard work of the Taiwan Technical Missions always make a deep impression on her. On behalf of everyone from Taiwan, she thanked the technical mission personnel for their contributions. She also thanked President Waqa, as the Nauru government not only provides accommodation for those personnel, but also fully supports and assists our bilateral cooperation projects.
President Tsai then emphasized that as Taiwan and Nauru take the next step forward together, she looks forward to seeing the cooperation between our two countries yielding even more new developments and accomplishments.
President Tsai then inspected the Technical Mission's egg production and vegetable farm, and learned about their mushroom cultivation project. She then attended the graduation showcase for a women's cooking class, where she enjoyed afternoon tea with members of the mission.
With President Tsai, President Waqa, and Foreign Minister Wu present as witnesses, Mission Leader Lee Yi-long proposed to Mei-chun. She accepted his proposal, and the warm and emotional moment garnered the well-wishes of all present. President Tsai then said that Yi-long and Mei-chun's story tells us that no matter the distance between Taiwan and Nauru, we are sure to create positive results, whether in diplomacy or marriage.
Earlier in the day, President Tsai was accompanied to the Naoero Museum by Presidential Counsel Peter Jacob and Government Information Office and Naoero Museum Director Joanna Olsson. The president also offered encouragement to the volunteer orthopedics team from Taiwan's Taichung Veterans General Hospital, thanking them for their devotion to furthering medical cooperation between Taiwan and Nauru.
Among those attending the event from Nauru were President Waqa and his wife, several cabinet ministers, and Nauru Ambassador to the ROC (Taiwan) Chitra Jeremiah. Representing Taiwan were Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥), other delegation members, and Ambassador to Nauru Chow Chin-fa (周進發).