President Horacio Cartes of the Republic of Paraguay touched down in Taiwan on July 11 for an official three-day state visit, and President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a banquet that evening at the Taipei Guest House to welcome President Cartes and his delegation.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that even though Paraguay and Taiwan are located on opposite sides of the globe, the two countries have always had a deep and lasting friendship. This was the third visit to Taiwan by President Cartes, while President Tsai visited Paraguay in 2016. In addition to exchanging views, the two sides have also established a solid foundation for friendship and cooperation.
President Tsai said that in her National Day address last year she quoted something that President Cartes once said to her: "Your country is bigger than you imagine." That statement made a deep impression on many people here.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan increased its import quota for Paraguayan beef last year, so the people of Taiwan have more opportunities to enjoy it. In fact, she said, Taiwan was using the very best Paraguayan beef at that night's banquet to welcome its very best friend. In addition, the Taipei Guest House was specially chosen as the banquet venue in order to give President Cartes and his delegation a special welcome.
President Tsai then raised a toast to lasting friendship and enduring diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Paraguay.
To welcome the visiting delegation, the banquet menu included danzai noodles, Changhua stuffed meat dumplings, gua bao (a Taiwan-style hamburger), bubble tea, and other traditional Taiwanese delights. Also enjoyed at the banquet was Paraguayan beef, prepared both charbroiled and teppanyaki style. The idea was to blend the special features of Taiwanese and Paraguayan cuisine to give the participants a fresh, new kind of dining experience. In addition, Paraguayan guitarist Roberto Zayas, who is married to a Taiwanese woman, performed Paraguayan folk tunes, creating a cheerful and festive summertime atmosphere.
Also included in the delegation were the President of the Supreme Court of Justice Luis Maria Benitez Riera, Senator Juan Dario Monges, Paraguayan Chamber of Senators ROC Friendship Committee Chairman Victor Bogado, Senator Zulma Gomez, Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga, General Secretary of the Presidency Juan Carlos Lopez Moreira, Minister and Political Advisor to the President Dario Filartiga, Private Secretary to the President Arnaldo Franco, Minister of Public Health and Social Welfare Antonio Barrios, Minister of Industry and Commerce Gustavo Leite, and Paraguay Ambassador to the ROC Marcial Bobadilla Guillen.