On the morning of October 9, President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed Saint Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet with full military honors. President Tsai thanked Saint Lucia for strongly supporting Taiwan's participation in the international community, and said she hopes to visit Saint Lucia one day to experience its customs and culture, and understand more about our bilateral cooperation and exchanges there.
The welcome ceremony with military honors got underway at 10:30 a.m. in the Main Plaza of the National Performing Arts Center. Following a 19-gun salute, the playing of the two countries' national anthems and a military review, President Tsai and Prime Minister Chastanet delivered remarks.
In her remarks, President Tsai noted that this was the third time Prime Minister Chastanet had led a delegation to Taiwan since she assumed office. The president said she was delighted to greet such a good friend from afar with full military honors. On behalf of the people and government of Taiwan, she then extended a sincere welcome to the prime minister and all the other visitors.
President Tsai pointed out that exchanges between Taiwan and Saint Lucia have become more frequent over the past two-plus years, as evidenced by Prime Minister Chastanet's three visits. She also thanked Saint Lucia for its sense of justice in supporting Taiwan in the international community many times, thus demonstrating our firm bilateral friendship.
The president mentioned that Saint Lucia is a beautiful Caribbean island nation, and that she hopes to visit one day to experience its customs and culture, and understand more about our bilateral cooperation and exchanges.
During this visit to Taiwan, President Tsai said, in addition to taking part in Taiwan's National Day celebrations, Prime Minister Chastanet and his delegation have scheduled many meetings and visits. She then expressed confidence that in-depth discussions on matters of shared concern will further enhance the bilateral friendship.
In closing, President Tsai wished Prime Minister Chastanet the best of health, and said she hopes that Saint Lucia will prosper, and that our friendly diplomatic relations will endure and grow stronger.
Prime Minister Chastanet then delivered remarks. On behalf of the government and people of Saint Lucia, he thanked President Tsai and the people of Taiwan for the warm hospitality extended to his delegation. He added that although Taiwan may not be large, he nevertheless has tremendous respect for its economic success and wide range of achievements. In addition to working for the welfare of its own people, he said, Taiwan also lends a helping hand to developing nations such as Saint Lucia in their efforts to achieve sustainable development.
Prime Minister Chastanet pointed out that the National Day festivities set for the next day would be a time to celebrate Taiwan's many accomplishments, and would also afford Saint Lucia an opportunity to thank Taiwan for its contributions to the international community. That made it an honor to participate, and let the whole world see Saint Lucia's friendship with Taiwan.
Prime Minister Chastanet emphasized that Taiwan has been a good friend to Saint Lucia, and his country is very grateful for all Taiwan has done to help them address development challenges. Taiwan is very important to Saint Lucia, he said, and Saint Lucia will stand together with Taiwan. With common political and economic goals and a mutually beneficial relationship, the feeling of solidarity that binds Taiwan and Saint Lucia together ensures the long-term sustainability and strength of the bilateral relationship.
Noting that Taiwan has contributed to the world in fields like technology, economics, environmental protection, climate change, healthcare, and gender equality, Prime Minister Chastanet said his visit gave him an opportunity to work with the Taiwan government to explore new models for bilateral cooperation, and improve the well-being of peoples in both nations.
Among those on hand for the welcome ceremony were Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Legislative Yuan President Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), and the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan.