President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen, presented a decoration to St. Christopher and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris and hosted a state banquet in his honor at noon on April 16. The president stated that St. Christopher and Nevis can count on Taiwan as a trustworthy development partner, and that we will continue to work together on the principles of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits to promote progress and prosperity in our countries.
During the decoration ceremony, President Tsai personally conferred the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon on Prime Minister Harris. At the state banquet that followed, President Tsai said that this was her third time receiving Prime Minister Harris at the Presidential Office Building since assuming office. Over the past two years, she said, in addition to the prime minister, Governor-General Tapley Seaton and other friends from St. Christopher and Nevis have also visited Taiwan, and such visits have bolstered bilateral exchanges.
Since the last time she met with Prime Minister Harris in June 2017, President Tsai pointed out, they have continued to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture, public health, and technical and vocational education. This year, she said, we have continued to dispatch economic cooperation and business delegations to St. Christopher and Nevis to pursue opportunities there, to increase bilateral trade and investment.
The president stated that this banquet was an opportunity to confer the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon upon Prime Minister Harris on behalf of the people of Taiwan. This is not only in recognition of the prime minister's contributions to our bilateral friendship, but also a token of the affection Taiwan's people have for the people of St. Christopher and Nevis, and our hope for closer cooperation.
President Tsai emphasized that St. Christopher and Nevis can count on Taiwan as a trustworthy development partner. We will continue to work with St. Kitts on the principles of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits to promote progress and prosperity in our two countries.
The president once again thanked St. Christopher and Nevis for its longtime support for Taiwan's international participation, and expressed hope that Prime Minister Harris will continue to speak up for Taiwan in the international arena. She also asked Prime Minister Harris to convey best regards from Taiwan to Governor-General Seaton when he returns home.
In closing, President invited everyone to join her in a toast to Prime Minister Harris' continued success, the prosperity of St. Christopher and Nevis, and to everlasting friendship between the two countries.
In his remarks that followed, Prime Minister Harris stated that it is an honor to once again visit Taiwan. Taiwan's people, culture, and expert technical knowledge have made a lasting and profound impact on the government and people of St. Christopher and Nevis.
Prime Minister Harris stated that he was happy to accept the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon conferred upon him by President Tsai. His investiture with this honor is symbolic of Taiwan's sincere appreciation for his country's strong support for Taiwan's participation in the United Nations and other international venues. He stated that he considered the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon a tribute to the even more favorable relationship between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis under his administration.
He stated that bilateral relations have been strong and resilient for over 36 years, and he expressed confidence that St. Christopher and Nevis is Taiwan's strongest ally in the Caribbean. Our relationship has been a mutually rewarding one, he said. He thanked Taiwan for their support in the areas of health, national security, agriculture, and education. In the future, he continued, his country will continue to firmly support Taiwan, and cement the bonds of friendship between our two countries.
Banquet attendees included Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅), National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Taiwan's Ambassador to St. Christopher and Nevis Tom Lee (李志強), 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).