On the evening of July 14 local time (morning of July 15 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen, currently on her Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability, attended a dinner banquet hosted by Saint Christopher and Nevis (SKN) Prime Minister Timothy Harris and witnessed the signing of a Taiwan-SKN technical and vocational education agreement.
The following is a translation of the president's remarks at the banquet:
Today is the second day of my visit to Saint Christopher and Nevis. My delegation and I have had a full and wonderful day. I want to thank Prime Minister Harris and our many other good friends for your warm hospitality and precious friendship.
The geographical distance separating Taiwan and Saint Christopher and Nevis has not hampered the development of our brotherhood.
In fact, our diplomatic ties have spanned 36 years. In the last two years, Governor-General Sir Tapley Seaton, Prime Minister Harris, Deputy Prime Minister [Shawn] Richards, and Foreign Minister [Mark] Brantley have visited Taiwan, making our partnership closer and stronger.
This time around, it is my turn to visit Saint Christopher and Nevis. I have seen in person your beautiful islands and the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Now I fully understand why your country is often lauded as being "Two Islands, One Paradise."
As a maritime nation itself, Taiwan fully appreciates maritime culture, and seeks to work with you to achieve sustainable development goals. Today, I have seen for myself the beauty of Nevis, and attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Pinney's Beach Park. In the future, our two countries will continue to strengthen cooperation on the sustainable development of our tourism industries.
To develop a maritime nation, the support of an outstanding pool of talent is needed. Just minutes ago, we witnessed the signing of our bilateral agreement on technical and vocational education and training cooperation.
We are always happy to share our experience in such undertakings, and help Saint Christopher and Nevis cultivate more technical professionals.
Over the years, our countries have worked together on many programs in agriculture, food processing, climate change adaptation, public health, and road surveillance. The leadership of Prime Minister Harris has played a key role in the realization of the fruits of our joint efforts.
Our goal is very clear: to make St. Christopher and Nevis a safe and sustainable tourist destination in the Caribbean. I trust that our success will also make this beautiful country a role model for its neighbors.
It is great to see our two countries continuing as reliable partners, and to witness our respective democratic development and economic growth. Without a doubt, we can continue to strengthen bilateral cooperation and work together in the spirit of mutual assistance for mutual benefits to create an even brighter future for both our peoples.
Now, please join me in a toast, wishing the Land of Beauty the very best of prosperity, and our countries everlasting friendship!
Following President Tsai's remarks, Prime Minister Harris delivered remarks of his own. Noting that the two sides had come together that evening to celebrate the lasting friendship between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis, he said that diplomatic ties between the two countries are very stable and meaningful. The diplomatic relationship, which dates back 36 years, is closer and more robust than ever before, as evidenced by this visit by President Tsai.
Prime Minister Harris mentioned that this was the third time that St. Christopher and Nevis had played host to a president from Taiwan. The last such occasion was six years ago, he said, so he was honored to gather together once again. During his visit to Taiwan this past April, he developed a deeper understanding of Taiwan's values and culture, and exchanges over the past several years have helped Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis to keep their relationship moving in the right direction, which will enhance the wellbeing of people in both countries.
Prime Minister Harris thinks President Tsai's successful foreign policy has continuously raised Taiwan's international profile, and he deeply admires her ability to lead. Affirming that St. Christopher and Nevis will continue to support Taiwan's international participation, the prime minister expressed best wishes for an enduring diplomatic relationship and a lasting friendship.
Earlier, President Tsai and Prime Minister Harris acted as witnesses as Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and SKN Deputy Prime Minister Richards signed the Taiwan-SKN technical and vocational education agreement, hoping to help the country improve its vocational education system and enhance the overall quality of human resources and the labor force.