Vice President Lai Ching-te held a reception in Honduras for the press corps traveling with his delegation to attend the inauguration of Honduran President Xiomara Castro on the evening of January 27 local time (morning of January 28 Taipei time). The vice president shared his thoughts on his first trip abroad in this role as well as the delegation's accomplishment of the three-part mission entrusted to it by President Tsai Ing-wen, which comprised deepening bilateral ties, strengthening cooperation with the Republic of Honduras, and expanding democratic Taiwan's international participation.
The vice president began his remarks by thanking members of the press corps for making the long journey to Honduras and joining the delegation's efforts despite the risks associated with the pandemic. The vice president expressed his special thanks to the members of the press corps for their hard work, as after returning to Taiwan, they will undergo 14 days of quarantine plus seven days of self-health management, giving up their most important holiday of the year.
Vice President Lai said that the traveling press corps were also witnesses to the events of this trip, and that he believed the delegation had achieved the mission entrusted to them by President Tsai. He also noted that the domestic media is aware of President Castro's remarks made on the campaign trail that if elected, she would establish diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China, but that thanks to everyone's efforts, this issue has already been resolved, which goes to show that the first task entrusted to the delegation by President Tsai—to strengthen the Taiwan-Honduras alliance—has been accomplished.
The vice president then addressed the second part of their mission—strengthening bilateral cooperation. Based on their pre-trip research, the delegation knew that President Castro had prepared a 30-point plan for her first 100 days in office, with seven of those points listed as the highest priority, including revitalizing the economy, creating jobs, cracking down on tax evasion, fighting corruption, adjusting the national budget, restructuring debt, and restructuring the debt of their electric utility.
Vice President Lai said that he had listened closely to President Castro's inaugural address that day, in which she emphasized fairness, justice, and integrity, as well as plans to solve the day-to-day problems of the poor, workers, farmers, and women through education, sanitation, job opportunities, and public safety. The vice president also said his delegation had mentioned to President Castro that Taiwan's ongoing work in Central America includes economic recovery and women's empowerment programs for Latin America and the Caribbean to help these regions emerge from the pandemic.
Vice President Lai said that after arriving in Honduras, they had met with President Castro on two consecutive days, stating that on the first day, he had presented his credentials to President Castro, while on the second they had held a longer meeting discussing policies related to Honduras in detail. The vice president said that this shows the delegation had met President Tsai's expectations for its mission in terms of strengthening bilateral ties.
In terms of the third part of the delegation's mission—strengthening Taiwan's broader international participation, Vice President Lai noted that they had taken advantage of opportunities that day for interaction with many allies attending the inauguration ceremony, as well as heads of state, deputy heads of state, and representatives from friendly countries, which will provide opportunities for further cooperation in the future.