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President Tsai decorated by St. Christopher and Nevis Governor-General Tapley Seaton
President Tsai decorated by St. Christopher and Nevis Governor-General Tapley Seaton

President Tsai Ing-wen and her delegation, currently traveling overseas on their Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability, attended an official welcome ceremony at the Government House of St. Christopher and Nevis early on the evening of July 15 local time (morning of July 16 Taipei time).

President Tsai was personally welcomed upon arrival at the Government House of St. Kitts & Nevis by Governor-General Tapley Seaton, followed by an honor guard salute. After a performance of the two countries' national anthems, Governor-General Seaton accompanied President Tsai to participate in a tree planting ceremony. They planted a Golden Trumpet tree and unveiled a memorial tablet as testimony to the steadfast friendship and enduring alliance between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis.

President Tsai then received the Order of St. Christopher and Nevis from Governor-General Seaton, and delivered remarks.

President Tsai thanked Governor-General Seaton and all of the friends on hand for their warm welcome. In the past two years, she said, we have had the honor of receiving Governor-General Seaton and Prime Minister Harris, as well as many other high-level officials from St. Christopher and Nevis in Taiwan. She was very pleased to reciprocate by visiting St. Christopher and Nevis as an important chapter of her Journey of Freedom, Democracy and Sustainability. She was honored to be awarded the Order of St. Christopher and Nevis, a truly special privilege that serves as ultimate recognition of the longstanding friendship and close partnership between our two countries.

The president mentioned that the Republic of China (Taiwan) was the first country with which St. Christopher and Nevis established formal diplomatic ties after its independence in 1983. At that time, Governor-General Seaton came to Taiwan for the negotiations, and played a key role in ensuring their success. Receiving this tremendous honor from Governor-General Seaton, she added, was therefore extraordinarily meaningful to her and Taiwan.

President Tsai pointed out that since 1983, Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis have cooperated in areas such as agriculture, healthcare and ICT. We have also worked together to cultivate talented professionals through scholarship programs and vocational education.

The president noted that in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, all of these joint efforts have enhanced the wellbeing of people in both countries, and advanced peace, prosperity and sustainable development. In the future, she said, our two countries will continue to pursue these shared ideals and objectives.

The president also thanked the government of St. Christopher and Nevis for its longstanding support of Taiwan in the international arena, which helped people worldwide see that Taiwan not only acts as a responsible member of the global village, but is also ready and willing to proactively contribute to international affairs.

Looking to the future, President Tsai expressed hope that Governor-General Seaton will continue to extend his greatest support to Taiwan, so that we stand shoulder to shoulder on the international stage and do our part to create a better future for all. She wished the Governor-General the best of health, and said she hopes that Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis will enjoy continued prosperity and everlasting friendship.

In his remarks, Governor-General Seaton said it was a great honor to host President Tsai and her delegation. He mentioned that he conferred the Order of St. Christopher and Nevis on President Tsai to highlight her outstanding contributions, and that the Golden Trumpet tree planted earlier that day by President Tsai stands as a symbol of the two countries' enduring diplomatic relationship.

Following the decoration ceremony, President Tsai chatted with local Taiwan Scholarship recipients. She then attended a state banquet hosted by the Governor-General, and the two heads of state enjoyed lively conversation in a relaxed and friendly setting.

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