President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Mrs. Morales on the morning of April 30 with full military honors, and pledged that Taiwan will continue to uphold the spirit of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits and promote various cooperative projects with Guatemala to achieve win-win outcomes.
The welcome ceremony with full military honors was held at 10:30 am at the Main Plaza of the National Theater & Concert Hall of the National Performing Arts Center. After a 21-gun salute and the playing of the national anthems of both countries, President Tsai and President Morales both delivered remarks.
In her remarks, President Tsai said that she was very pleased to welcome President and Mrs. Morales to Taiwan with full military honors. On behalf of the people of Taiwan she then offered a cordial welcome to President Morales, who had travelled 14,000 kilometers from Guatemala to lead a delegation to Taiwan for the first time.
President Tsai went on to say that when she led a delegation to Guatemala in January of 2017 President Morales had personally accompanied the Taiwan delegation to the cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site of Antigua, and introduced local customs. President Tsai then once again thanked her Guatemalan counterpart for his warm hospitality, and said she hopes that the Guatemalan delegation will likewise feel right at home during their visit, and experience the vibrancy and customs of Taiwan.
President Tsai also pointed out that although it's a long way from Taiwan to Guatemala, the bilateral friendship has only grown stronger over its 85 year history. And over the past few years, she said, exchanges and cooperation have become even more frequent, with outstanding achievements in infrastructure, medicine, public health, education, economics, trade, and technical cooperation.
President Tsai then said she expects President Morales' trip will deepen bilateral interaction and exchanges. She then pledged that Taiwan will continue to uphold the spirit of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits and promote various cooperative projects with Guatemala to achieve win-win outcomes. With the support of President Morales and his delegation, she added, the friendly diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Guatemala will continue to improve.
President Morales then delivered remarks. He began by thanking President Tsai and Taiwan's public officials for welcoming the Guatemalan delegation with the distinctive warmth and enthusiasm of the Taiwanese people, which made them feel right at home. He then stated that Taiwan and Guatemala have a solid relationship that only grows stronger over time, and that he hoped his visit would further strengthen mutual political, diplomatic, economic, and cultural exchanges and cooperation.
President Morales also reaffirmed that Guatemala is a friend of Taiwan, and even more, an ally. He was very gratified, he said, that this was his third meeting with President Tsai over the past three years. He went on to praise President Tsai as an outstanding leader, as her administration has demonstrated that Taiwan is a beacon of freedom, a prosperous country willing to provide aid, and always ready to extend a hand of friendship to the international community.
President Morales also noted that Taiwan is a land of abundant opportunity, an extensive higher education system, and an open economy, as well as an investment-friendly country that is internationally competitive, with cutting-edge technology. Thus as we seek to strengthen and advance bilateral economic and trade ties, he said, Guatemala and Taiwan have much in common. Along with high-quality coffee, proximity to the US market also gives Guatemala a geographical advantage that can create development and employment opportunities for both countries. He hopes that the concerted efforts of both sides will strengthen bilateral economic and trade exchanges, and expand cooperation in environmental protection, social integration, food safety and tourism to create win-win outcomes for both countries.
President Morales believes that mutual cooperation between Taiwan and Guatemala furthers the ideals and goals set forth when diplomatic ties began, and that people in both countries will share in the achievements of friendly bilateral relations both now, and in the future. President Morales closed by saying that today's event proclaims to the world that the friendly diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Guatemala are unshakeable, and expressed confidence that this official visit will be a great success, with many achievements.
Among those present for the welcome ceremony were Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Examination Yuan President Wu Jin-lin (伍錦霖), Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), ROC Ambassador to Guatemala Lai Chien-chung (賴建中) , and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Aleman (head of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan).