President Tsai Ing-wen met with the participants in the 13th session of an international training course organized by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense for senior military officers from allies in Latin America on the morning of October 18. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, President Tsai thanked countries from that region for their support, and expressed hope that by sharing Taiwan's experience, we can enhance friendships and work together for further development.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that the participants in this 13th session are senior military and police officials, as well as their spouses, from seven countries: Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. On behalf of the people and armed forces of Taiwan, she offered them all a warm welcome .
President Tsai pointed out that relations between Taiwan and Latin America have been very close over the past two-plus years. Taiwan has continued sending investment missions to Latin American diplomatic allies and seeking opportunities for economic and trade cooperation. And since taking office, the president herself has led several delegations to visit diplomatic allies in the region to get a first-hand understanding of the successes achieved through various bilateral cooperation projects by Taiwan Technical Missions. While visiting Paraguay, she said, Taiwanese expatriates from as far away as Argentina and Chile gathered to meet with her.
President Tsai stated that both official and unofficial exchanges help bring Taiwan and the visitors' countries closer together, which is why our cooperation projects with those countries are so important to us. In the area of military cooperation, for example, in addition to long-running basic and advanced military education exchanges, we also see progress in areas like military aid, logistics and maintenance, and professional training, she said.
President Tsai further pointed out that the visitors' participation in this series of international training courses is an important part of our military exchanges. Now in its 47th year, the program has graduated over 8,200 outstanding students from 81 different countries. The president said Taiwan hopes to share its experience with more good friends from around the world to enhance bilateral friendships and work together for further development.
President Tsai mentioned that over the past few years, China has continuously sought to restrict Taiwan's diplomatic space, and increased its military activities in the neighboring region. This puts pressure on Taiwan, but the friendly support of many different countries has helped the international community fully understand Taiwan's predicament, so the president, speaking on behalf of the people of Taiwan, thanked the nations of Latin America for their backing. She also asked her visitors to convey her best regards to their respective heads of state after returning to their home countries.
In closing, President Tsai noted that her visitors would complete their training course the next day. Although for most of them, she said, this was their first time in Taiwan, she was sure that through their coursework over the past few weeks, they had gained a better understanding of Taiwan, and she hoped there will be more interaction in the future.