On the afternoon of July 16 local time (morning of July 17 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen's Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability took her to an exhibition of the achievements produced by cooperation between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). At the exhibition, which was held at the SVG National Public Library, she personally inspected some of the results of bilateral cooperation projects in infrastructure development, information and communications, agriculture, education, and medical care. Shortly thereafter, she attended a police vehicle donation ceremony.
After arriving at the National Library, President Tsai, SVG Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, and Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) presided over a launch ceremony for a new Intelligent Bus Management and Monitoring System. She then received a project briefing from Mr. Fu Chien-wei (傅建惟), a manager in Taiwan's technical mission. The purpose of the project, said Mr. Fu, is to help SVG citizens make more efficient use of their country's public transit system, while using an intelligent video surveillance system to improve public security and create a safer society.
President Tsai and the other guests stopped by booths with photographs and other information showing the cooperative achievements of the Capacity Building Project for the Prevention and Control of Diabetes, Banana Revitalization Project, and Professional Mandarin Teaching Project.
The SVG National Public Library, which opened during 30th anniversary celebrations of SVG independence, was built as part of a cooperative project with Taiwan. It has helped cultivate human resources, raised education levels in SVG, and stands as an important national landmark. Holding this exhibition at this library highlighted our friendly diplomatic ties and close cooperation.
President Tsai then attended a police vehicle donation ceremony. Police vehicles take a severe beating on the rugged SVG terrain, so Taiwan agreed to donate two police motorcycles and eight patrol cars to SVG. President Tsai took advantage of her visit to SVG to witness the ceremony where Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) presented prototype versions of the vehicles to SVG Commissioner of Police Colin John. The donation highlights the fact that Taiwan supports the efforts of the SVG government to upgrade police equipment, and improve its law enforcement capabilities, thereby improving public safety.
Among those on the SVG side who took part in the afternoon's itinerary were Minister of Finance Gonsalves, Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, and Minister of Health Luke Browne. Taiwan participants included National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, and Taiwan Ambassador to SVG Calvin C.H. Ho (何震寰).
Following the donation ceremony, President Tsai fielded questions from the traveling pressing corps. Asked whether she was keeping track of a typhoon that may hit Taiwan, the president responded that both the delegation and government agencies back home are all keeping a close watch. We are in close touch with the Executive Yuan, and in just a bit, she said, we will have a phone conversation with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to discuss the typhoon.
President Tsai then addressed a recent comment by Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), Chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, who said that President Tsai's stopover in the United States was simply a matter of "preening and posing under US protective cover." The president stated that the appropriate agency has already responded to that comment. But she also added that, as president of the Republic of China, diplomacy is an inherent part of her job, and there's no need for other people to make irresponsible remarks.
President Tsai then commented on her interaction earlier in the day with SVG Minister of Health Browne. Mr. Browne is a strong advocate for Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly, easy to like, and has made a deep impression on many Taiwanese by speaking out on Taiwan's behalf on the international stage. And for that, she said, we are very grateful.