At 6:30 p.m. on November 3 local time (4:30 p.m. Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen attended a dinner banquet with Taiwan expatriates in Guam. She was there for a transit stop on her diplomatic mission dubbed "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future—2017 State Visits to Pacific Allies." The president thanked expatriates for their contributions and hard work, which have raised Taiwan's international profile.
A transcription of President Tsai remarks follows:
Hafa Adai! ("Hello" in Guam's native Chamorro language)
It's great to be here in Guam. I'm grateful that we have the opportunity to transit here, following the visit to our diplomatic allies in the Pacific Islands. We have many friends in Guam, including Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio—I didn't know that you know so many people in our Taiwanese community here— Speaker Benjamin Cruz of the Guam Legislature, President Robert Underwood of the University of Guam, and the senators of the Guam Legislature.
There's another person who is very special to us and unfortunately could not make it here. I think all of you know her well. That is Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who has been a tireless advocate of the friendship between Taiwan and the US in Congress. I've had the pleasure of meeting her many times in the past, and I hope you can convey my greetings to her once she comes home.
Taiwan and Guam share a very unique friendship. You are one of the closest parts of the United States to Taiwan and over the years, tourism, trade, and investment have been growing. Your governors – including Governor Calvo just last week – have consistently visited Taiwan to deepen those ties and find new opportunities in our bilateral relationship.
The people of Taiwan are also grateful for Guam's support for our international space. We have seen successive resolutions passed by the legislators here to request Taiwan's participation in international organizations where we can make a difference, such as ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). Those resolutions show that the people of Guam stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Taiwan.
Being here in Guam today has given us the opportunity to reaffirm our longstanding friendship and partnership. It has given me the opportunity to see why tens of thousands of Taiwanese people travel here each year. I wish to convey my appreciation to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for facilitating this transit in Guam. And I hope everyone has a lovely evening.
This is not the end of my remarks tonight, but the end of the English part.
The president then delivered remarks in Chinese, saying that this visit to diplomatic allies in the Pacific, built around the theme of "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future—2017 State Visits to Pacific Allies," would end in Guam, with the delegation returning to Taipei the next morning. During the previous seven days, the delegation had visited three Pacific diplomatic allies, with a full itinerary that was quite challenging. But since this was her third trip abroad, she expressed confidence that the delegation, staff, and security personnel had all developed a resistance to stress. Nevertheless, she still thanked them for their efforts.
The president then expressed her gratitude to the many overseas Taiwanese who turned out to give the delegation an enthusiastic welcome when they arrived at their hotel. She also thanked the expatriates for their devotion and concern for their homeland, as well as their support for herself and Taiwan.
President Tsai specially noted that Dr. Chen Kuang-ming (陳光明), who was on hand for the banquet, is one of the earliest Taiwanese immigrants to Guam, and a well-respected leader of the overseas Taiwanese community. Since arriving in Guam in the 1960s, Dr. Chen has devoted himself to healthcare, helping the residents of Guam overcome many neurological disorders. He has thus become a legendary figure for young people interested in island healthcare, the president said.
President Tsai pointed out that on this visit to three of Taiwan's Pacific diplomatic allies, she saw many young people who are like Dr. Chen back in the day. Filled with passion, they leave their homeland to contribute their youths and expertise to people living in remote island countries.
The president expressed respect and gratitude towards young people who have dedicated themselves to education, agriculture, or—like Dr. Chen—to healthcare. She also stated that in the course of her trip she felt the affirmation and respect that local governments and citizens have for them. Overseas, they represent Taiwan in the eyes of the people of our diplomatic allies.
President Tsai emphasized that education, healthcare, and agriculture are three of Taiwan's strengths that the nation can be proud of, and are also strengths most suitable for export to our diplomatic allies. The efforts of overseas volunteers, technical missions, medical missions, and Taiwanese expatriates help the world to see Taiwan.
The president, speaking on behalf of the 23 million people of Taiwan, expressed gratitude to the Taiwanese expatriates in attendance, and asked everyone to continue to support the government as it faces challenges and promotes reforms so that the country can continue to move forward.
Speaking about the briefing made by Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAO) Commissioner Huang Ching-chia (黃進佳) regarding local overseas Taiwanese affairs, President Tsai said that there were a lot more Taiwanese here than she had imagined, and that they were very influential in local business and social circles. She thanked them for their long-term efforts in Guam, helping the people there see, experience, and respect Taiwan.
Finally, President Tsai asked the guests to join her in a toast to our beloved Taiwan.
Also attending the expatriate banquet were AIT Chairman James Moriarty; Taiwan's Secretary-General to the President Joseph Wu (吳釗燮); National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥); Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維); OCAC Minister Wu Hsin-hsing (吳新興); Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-Chung (陳時中); Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples Icyang Parod (夷將‧拔路兒); Legislators Kolas Yotaka (谷辣斯．尤達卡) and Lin Ching-Yi (林靜儀); OCAC Commissioner Huang Ching-Chia; President Jay Huang (黃士杰) of the United Chinese Association of Guam; and President Lily W. Yu (虞王利英) of the Taiwanese Business Association of Guam.