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President Tsai issues remarks after returning from state visits to Palau, Nauru, and Marshall Islands  
President Tsai issues remarks after returning from state visits to Palau, Nauru, and Marshall Islands  

President Tsai Ing-wen concluded her "Oceans of Democracy" state visits on the evening of March 28, and she issued remarks upon her arrival at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. She detailed the achievements of her state visits and emphasized that Taiwan is a contributor to the Indo-Pacific region, and the world is taking notice of our efforts. Our government will continue to lead Taiwan through the many challenges ahead, she said, so that Taiwan can engage with the world with pride and dignity, and be a true maritime nation.

A translation of the president's remarks follows:

During my "Oceans of Democracy" trip, we visited our allies Palau, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands, and we also made a stopover in Hawaii. I met with the leaders of our allies and thanked them for their longstanding support on behalf of the Taiwanese people.

We shared this trip's successes with everyone via Facebook, LINE, YouTube, and news reports. Even the hardworking head of our technical mission's successful marriage proposal during the trip to one of my colleagues received a lot of coverage, so I'm sure everyone has heard about that as well.

Beijing's objections to my state visits were not an obstacle, and they did not stop us from giving our all for diplomacy. I want to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, as well as the journalists who traveled with the delegation. I heard that many of our friends in the media who accompanied us on the trip had to pay a visit to our delegation's medical team.

On this trip we made a stopover in Hawaii, and I was especially touched when we ran into senior high school students from Taiwan at Waikiki Beach. They were in Hawaii to take part in the 2019 FIRST Robotics Competition, and they were quite a lively bunch. 

They stood on the beach waving our national flags and shouting greetings, and tourists lounging and swimming at the beach all took notice. This is something that's never happened on a presidential stopover before.

Not only did this simple act show how treatment of presidential stopovers has improved, it also represents the fact that young Taiwanese are able to confidently engage with the world, thanks to our hard work.

I'm sure you've all noticed that Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan (鄭文燦), Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-Chang (林右昌), and Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) have all visited the United States recently, and were treated with due courtesy. 

Diplomatic efforts are not divided along age or party lines. And allowing Taiwanese people to engage with the world with dignity is exactly what we have been working toward for the past three years. 

The theme of this round of state visits, "Oceans of Democracy," is especially meaningful in my opinion. Our like-minded friends in the Pacific speak up for Taiwan and support us at various international venues.

As a sovereign, independent, democratic, and free nation, we the Republic of China (Taiwan) have a responsibility and a duty to work together with like-minded partners to contribute to peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Taiwan is a contributor to the Indo-Pacific region, and the world is taking notice of our efforts. Taiwan's role stretches across the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and through our actions, we are telling the world that Taiwan is not just "Taiwan on one side of the Taiwan Strait," we are "Taiwan in the Pacific."

Many challenges still await us. But we will continue our efforts to lead Taiwan in engaging with the world with pride and dignity, to be a true maritime nation.

Among those at the airport to greet President Tsai were Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu (陳菊), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan, National Security Bureau Director-General Peng Sheng-chu (彭勝竹), Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), Overseas Community Affairs Council Vice Minister Roy Yuan-Rong Leu (呂元榮), and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Aleman (also head of Taiwan's foreign diplomatic corps).

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