President Tsai Ing-wen met with Lee Mark Chang, President of the Belize Senate, on the morning of April 23. She stated that ties between Taiwan and Belize are growing stronger, and expressed hope that we can continue to forge an even closer partnership and accomplish more together based on our shared values.
In remarks, President Tsai stated that she led a delegation to Belize last August, where she met with many friends who support Taiwan, and was invited to address the National Assembly of Belize. She was happy to see Senate President Chang visiting Taiwan again, and also welcomed Minister of Natural Resources Hugo Patt, Senator Aldo Salazar, and Mr. Michael Singh, advisor for e-governance and digital transformation to the Prime Minister of Belize.
President Tsai noted that Taiwan and Belize will celebrate 30 years of diplomatic ties this October. When she was in Belize, the president said, she could feel the local passion and support for Taiwan wherever she went. This sense of friendship is the result of our nations' hard work, and we highly cherish it. The fact that Senate President Chang, accompanied by a minister, a senator, and an important advisor to the prime minister, travelled so far to visit Taiwan is perfect proof of this.
In addition to the passion of the Belizean people, President Tsai stated, Belize's beautiful scenery also deeply impressed her. Belize is a world renowned tourist destination, she said, and Taiwan is planning to send a tourism investment mission there in the hopes of generating even more opportunities for cooperation. We are also looking forward to impressive results from Taiwan's first trade fair in Belize this November.
President Tsai mentioned that over the past few years, cooperation between Taiwan and Belize has grown stronger. During his stay in Taiwan, Senate President Chang would be presiding over the inauguration of the Taiwan-Belize Interparliamentary Amity Association alongside our Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應). This event represents a new chapter in our countries' parliamentary diplomacy, and will bring legislators from both sides much closer together, greatly benefiting bilateral relations.
President Tsai mentioned that under Senate President Chang's leadership, the Senate of Belize has long given Taiwan the greatest possible support. Senate President Chang and House Speaker Laura Tucker-Longsworth also co-signed a letter to Taiwan this past February, expressing support for Taiwan's stance on safeguarding our democracy and defending our sovereignty. President Tsai expressed her gratitude for their support.
President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan and Belize have both walked a hard road to attain the democracy and freedom we enjoy today. Given our shared values, the president stated that she hopes that the two countries can continue to forge an even closer partnership. Looking ahead, she said, we will work together to achieve even more in such areas as infrastructure, public health and medicine, ICT, agriculture and fisheries, and education.
In closing, President Tsai stated that she had met with Senate President Chang three times since his last visit in June 2018, and she looked forward to more frequent exchanges in the years to come. She once again thanked Belize for its staunch support for Taiwan, and asked Senate President Chang to convey Taiwan's gratitude and regards to Prime Minister Dean Barrow.