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President Tsai arrives in Belize on diplomatic visit and attends reception with Taiwanese expatriates
President Tsai arrives in Belize on diplomatic visit and attends reception with Taiwanese expatriates

President Tsai Ing-wen, concluding her diplomatic visit in the Republic of Guatemala, arrived after an hour flight at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize on the afternoon of April 2 local time (early morning of April 3 Taipei time).

President Tsai's delegation was welcomed to Belize on the plane by Ambassador to Belize Lily L.W. Hsu (徐儷文) and Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration Amalia Mai of Belize, and after alighting from the plane was received by Governor-General Froyla Tzalam of Belize. After exchanging greetings with the Belizean officials, the president mounted the stage and was welcomed with military honors.

President Tsai stood for the Republic of China (Taiwan) national anthem before proceeding with a military inspection of the Belizean military honor guard. Then, after the Belizean national anthem, the two parties conducted mutual introductions, and President Tsai bid farewell to the governor-general before departing for her hotel.

That evening, the president attended a reception with Taiwanese expatriates, where she delivered remarks, saying that she had arrived in Belize just a couple of hours ago, and that upon entering the venue she was very happy to be greeted by her fellow compatriots.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

The last time I came to Belize was in 2018, the third year of my first term. Now with the pandemic subsiding, it is possible to visit our allies and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates. So, I'm truly happy to be here in Belize again and to see my fellow Taiwanese.

Though Belize and Taiwan are geographically distant, we have always been close at heart. Over the past three years, we came together to face the challenges of the pandemic. When Taiwan donated masks to countries around the world, you provided disease-prevention supplies to the international community. Whenever we speak about Taiwan's contributions to the international pandemic response, we talk about a ''virtuous cycle,'' of which you all are a part. I want to thank you all for your hard work.

You are also an important link between Taiwan and Belize. Over the past few years, interactions between Taiwan and Belize have become closer and closer, to which each of you here has made a significant contribution. Here tonight, we have colleagues from our embassy and our technical mission, our young people doing alternative national service, and partners from Taiwan's Overseas Engineering & Construction Company. I want to thank you for standing on the frontline as you carry out our international cooperation projects and work together with the people of Belize.

I still remember when I met with our colleagues from the technical mission last time I came to Belize. I was deeply touched by the passion shown by our fellow Taiwanese in helping our friends and allies. I very much look forward to our itinerary tomorrow, when we will visit our sheep and goat breeding and production enhancement project. I am confident that you have all produced very impressive results over the past few years.

Going forward, we will continue working to deepen exchanges between Taiwan and Belize. We have here in attendance members of our purchasing mission, who were just with us in Guatemala exploring business opportunities in coffee, and who are now here in Belize to survey opportunities for cocoa purchasing. We hope that, by advancing bilateral economic and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Belize, we can offer the people of Taiwan a taste of the delicious flavors of Belize.

I want to take this opportunity to thank our compatriots for actively speaking up for Taiwan and for supporting Taiwan's international participation. Now, as the global pandemic is subsiding, I want to welcome you all to come back to Taiwan for a visit, and to ask all of you to join us in keeping up the hard work. I want to tell you all that Taiwan is a Taiwan of the world. The language of democracy and freedom is the language we share with the international community, and is the key route by which we connect with the world. Taiwan will resolutely uphold our shared values as we further contribute to global prosperity and to regional peace and stability. Let's give it our all to let the world see a better Taiwan. 

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