President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Mark A. G. Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation of St. Christopher and Nevis and Premier of the Nevis Island Administration, on the morning of May 6. In addition to thanking St. Christopher and Nevis for its staunch support for Taiwan's international participation, the president also expressed hope that the two countries will continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation and exchanges.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that just over two weeks ago she had the pleasure of meeting with St. Christopher and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Sylvester Harris. She was therefore particularly pleased to meet with friends from St. Christopher and Nevis again. She then extended a warm welcome to the visitors on behalf of the Taiwanese people.
The president pointed out that over the years, Taiwan has made many contributions to the world through cooperation with its allies, and St. Christopher and Nevis has been a very important partner in those efforts. When St. Christopher and Nevis declared independence in 1983, Taiwan was the first country to recognize the new nation, she said. The relationship between the two sides has gone from strength to strength over the past 36 years, and the two countries have achieved amazing things together.
President Tsai mentioned that over the past few years, the international community has seen that China is continuing to suppress Taiwan, and is ratcheting up the pressure. However, Taiwan will never back down. Our determination to engage the world will not change, she added. We will continue to work with our allies to strengthen our cooperative ties.
The president stated that Minister Brantley's visit is the best testament to the robust partnership between Taiwan and Saint Kitts and Nevis. Minister Brantley's third visit to Taiwan as Foreign Minister, she said, underscores the importance that Saint Kitts and Nevis attaches to bilateral diplomatic relations. She then expressed her appreciation to Saint Kitts and Nevis for its staunch and longstanding support for Taiwan's international participation.
Commenting on bilateral cooperation and exchanges, the president said she looks forward to enhancing cooperation with Saint Kitts and Nevis in the fields of agricultural technology, education, culture, ICT, and public health. For example, each year Taiwan organizes several training programs aimed at meeting the different developmental needs of its diplomatic allies. She then said that Taiwan welcomes Saint Kitts and Nevis to recommend outstanding youth to participate in these programs, which will also create more opportunities for people-to-people exchanges between our countries, she added.
The president remarked that this visit by Minister Brantley and his delegation will give them a deeper understanding of Taiwan. She believes that Minister Brantley has cultivated a liking for our bubble tea on previous trips to Taiwan, and expressed hope that he has the chance to try it again this time. She was convinced that during their stay, they will all experience the richness of Taiwan's culture and traditions, she said.
In closing, the president asked Minister Brantley to convey sincere regards from Taiwan to Governor-General Tapley Seaton and Prime Minister Harris, and wished her visitors a gratifying and rewarding visit.
The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Deputy Foreign Minister Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh (謝武樵) and Saint Christopher and Nevis Ambassador to the ROC Jasmine Elise Huggins. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維).