President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Mrs. Chen, hosted a state banquet for Nauru President Lionel Aingimea and First Lady Aingimea at noon on December 13. President Tsai expressed hope that Taiwan and Nauru will continue to share experience in a wide range of areas and work together to promote bilateral cooperation and development.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
I still remember having dinner with President Aingimea at my official residence during his visit in September. At that time, you expressed quite an interest in Taiwanese cuisine.
After hearing my description of stinky tofu, you said that you would like to try it on your visit. I am glad that we have only had to wait three short months for this state banquet to offer you a taste of this delicacy. Taiwanese cuisine is internationally renowned, and there are many delicious dishes that we look forward to sharing with our friends from Nauru.
We are making history today, because this is the first time in this building's century-long history that stinky tofu has been served at a state banquet. The stinky tofu being served today is a milder version, but I have heard that President Aingimea has plans to visit a Taiwanese night market, and you can find authentic stinky tofu there.
As President Aingimea used to be a pastor and the people of Nauru cherish Christmas, we are delighted to gather now during the holiday season to exchange ideas. I hope that Taiwan and Nauru will continue to share experience in a wide range of areas and work together to promote bilateral cooperation and development.
Now, please join me in a toast to the success and health of President Aingimea, to the continued prosperity of Nauru, and to the everlasting friendship between our countries!
President Aingimea then delivered remarks, saying that Taiwan-Nauru relations continue to grow stronger. He jokingly stated that the stinky tofu served today is part of what keeps making the relationship stronger. President Aingimea once again thanked President Tsai and the Taiwanese people for hosting them. If everything is so good as the first day, then the next four days will surely be even better, he said.
Also present at the state banquet were National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples Icyang Parod (夷將‧拔路兒), Taiwan Ambassador to Nauru Wang Hai-Long (王海龍), Nauruan Ambassador to Taiwan Jarden Kephas, and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Alemán (head of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan).