On the morning of May 27, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Luis Galarreta, Chairman of the Congress of the Republic of Peru's Committee on Foreign Affairs, and his wife. The president thanked Peru for speaking up for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA), and expressed hope that Taiwan and Peru can build on their current relationship to develop closer commercial ties, and facilitate even more cooperation in international affairs.
President Tsai began her remarks by welcoming Chairman Galarreta back to Taiwan once again. She extended condolences to Chairman Galarreta for the earthquake that had struck northern Peru just the day before. She expressed hope that damage from the quake could be kept to a minimum, and that the local residents would be safe.
The president pointed out that Chairman Galarreta had recently gone to considerable lengths to support Taiwan's quest to take part in the WHA proceedings. In addition to writing a letter directly to President Tsai, he also joined 50 other members of the Peruvian Congress in signing a petition in support of Taiwan. This was the biggest show of support for Taiwan that Peru has given in several years, she said, adding: "The people of Taiwan were all touched by these heart-warming gestures." The president also specially thanked Chairman Galarreta.
President Tsai further stated that, just as Chairman Galarreta had mentioned in his letter, health is a basic human right and a universal value. She then stated her view that the health and well-being of Taiwan's 23 million people should not be consciously disregarded. Taiwan, she said, has amassed a record of achievements in the field of medicine and public health over a period of many years, and ought to be given a chance to contribute more to global health.
President Tsai stated that while Taiwan and Peru are separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, both countries are nevertheless members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and will continue to engage in many different forms of exchange under the APEC framework. The president said she hopes that, through the efforts of Chairman Galarreta and many other Peruvian friends, Taiwan and Peru can build on their current relationship to develop closer commercial ties, and facilitate even more cooperation in international affairs.
Noting that Peru is a signatory to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), President Tsai said that if Taiwan can join the CPTPP, the two countries would see even more significant growth in their two-way trade, and they could expect an increase in exchanges in science, technology, education, and culture. This type of win-win situation is a goal we can strive for together, she said.
In closing, the president again welcomed Chairman Galarreta to Taiwan, and expressed hope that the bilateral relationship between Taiwan and Peru will continue to grow stronger in the future.