President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed St. Christopher and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris with full military honors on the morning of April 16. She emphasized that Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis share universal values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, and expressed hope that the two countries could continue to deepen bilateral relations through greater exchanges.
The military honors ceremony began at 11 a.m. in the Presidential Office Building's Reception Hall. After a 19-gun salute and the playing of the two countries' national anthems, President Tsai and Prime Minister Harris each delivered remarks
In her remarks, President Tsai stated that she was happy to welcome Prime Minister Harris to Taiwan again with a military salute. This was his fourth visit since assuming office, demonstrating the high level of importance that he accords diplomatic relations between our countries. The president then extended a heartfelt welcome to him on behalf of the people of Taiwan.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan was the first country to establish diplomatic ties with St. Christopher and Nevis after it achieved independence in 1983. Last year, she said, we sent an honor guard from our armed forces to participate in celebrations for the 35th anniversary of independence of St. Christopher and Nevis. The honor guard presented a brilliant performance during the military parade held for the occasion.
The president further stated that it was the first time our armed forces honor guard had traveled overseas specifically to perform in another country in its 60-year history. This bears testament to the solid, robust, and longstanding friendship between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis.
President Tsai also pointed out that Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis share universal values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. The two countries support each other in the international community, and our partnership is important to both sides. We look forward to continuing to deepen our bilateral relations through greater exchanges, she said.
During his trip to Taiwan two years ago, President Tsai mentioned, Prime Minister Harris saw how tourism has developed in Kaohsiung and Kinmen, and he will also have a busy itinerary during this visit. The president said that they will engage in a wide-ranging exchange of views on global developments and issues of common concern, which will contribute to further cooperation and exchanges between the two countries.
In closing, President Tsai wished Prime Minister Harris and his delegation a productive and rewarding visit, and for an enduring partnership between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis.
In his remarks that followed, Prime Minister Harris quoted the Chinese proverb: "a bosom friend from afar brings distant lands near," to describe the special relationship between Taiwan and the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis. He stated that our diplomatic relationship has spanned over 35 years, and continues to grow stronger as we promote shared fundamental values such as democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis may be located far apart geographically, but we are closely aligned on meaningful issues. Through cultural, educational, and scientific exchanges, as well as other impactful programs, our countries have built an enduring legacy of cooperation, he said, that defies distance and embraces solidarity.
Prime Minister Harris stated that Taiwan is a true and abiding friend to St. Christopher and Nevis, and he thanked President Tsai on behalf of his government and people. St. Christopher and Nevis has long supported Taiwan's efforts to secure participation in international organizations and activities. He further stated that during his time in Taiwan, he looked forward to solidifying the strong bonds of trust and friendship between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis, so that our two countries can continue to enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship. He then wished for enduring friendship between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis.
Prime Minister Harris mentioned that Taiwan's military honor guard performed in St. Christopher and Nevis' 35th independence parade last year, and their excellent performance impressed the people of St. Christopher and Nevis. He gave his highest commendations to all those who participated in the military salute at the welcome ceremony earlier that day, for proudly representing Taiwan's military prowess and training. He then commended President Tsai for her exemplary leadership, which has set an example for women around the world, and stated that the people and government of St. Christopher and Nevis hold her in the highest regard.
Among those present for the welcome ceremony were Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), Examination Yuan President Wu Jin-lin (伍錦霖), Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Legislative Yuan Vice President Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發), Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), St. Christopher and Nevis Ambassador to Taiwan Jasmine Huggins, and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Aleman (head of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan).