President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by Governor-General of Belize Sir Colville Young on the morning of July 2, and joined the Governor-General to witness Taiwan's Justice Minister and Belize's Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs sign a bilateral agreement to cooperate on anti-corruption issues.
In remarks, President Tsai first welcomed Governor-General Young and his delegation to the Office of the President, saying that in October this year, Taiwan and Belize will mark 30 years of official diplomatic relations, and we have planned a series of events to celebrate. So during this very significant year, she said, she was delighted to welcome the Governor-General and his delegation, and that their visit reflects the sincere friendship between Taiwan and Belize.
The president noted that when she visited Belize in August last year, Governor-General Young offered her a warm welcome. She was also awarded the Order of Belize, the country's highest honor. So she expressed her sincere gratitude once again, saying that less than a year later, it was a pleasure to be able to receive the Governor-General in Taiwan.
The president mentioned that Taiwan-Belize cooperation has been increasing for some time now, including expanded cooperation in healthcare and vocational training. In the investment and trade areas, over the past two months a series of groups from Taiwan have gone to Belize to explore travel industry opportunities and tourism investment possibilities. In September, a seafood procurement group will also be going to Belize, and she expressed hope that in November this year, Taiwan's first trade fair in Belize will be a great success and create more cooperative business opportunities.
President Tsai pointed out that since we established diplomatic ties in 1989, Taiwan and Belize have been good partners in times of peace, and true friends in times of need. So when Taiwan once again did not receive an invitation to this year's WHA meeting in May, Belize submitted a proposal supporting Taiwan's participation.
The president thanked Belize for their support on behalf of the people of Taiwan, and also expressed hope that the two countries will see more cooperation in all areas. The president said she still remembered that the last time she met with Governor-General Young, he emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability. So in the future, Taiwan and Belize will continue to address the challenges of climate change together, and promote sustainable development in both countries, she added.
President Tsai also mentioned that Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs Michael George Peyrefitte, who was also present, visited Taiwan last year to participate in a seminar on government ethics. During this trip, the Attorney General would be signing a bilateral agreement to cooperate on anti-corruption issues with our Justice Minister Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥), with the Governor-General acting as witness. She expressed confidence that we will continue to usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation.
The president stated that Governor-General Young and Attorney General Peyrefitte are old friends and have visited Taiwan several times, while our other guests were making their first visit. She expressed hope that this trip would help everyone understand Taiwan better, and promote a closer bilateral partnership. She once again welcomed them all to Taiwan, and wished them a smooth and successful visit.
Governor-General Young then delivered remarks, saying that his current visit reaffirms a love and friendship for Taiwan that will not continue for just 30 years, but will be a permanent friendship between friends who are as close as family. He also thanked Taiwan for the advice it has extended to Belize, which has helped his country to respect the environment, even as they pursue development. There is much, Governor-General Young said, that Belize can learn from Taiwan.
The Governor-General then noted that Taiwan is famous for its anti-corruption stand, and that bribery, money laundering, and narcotics trafficking are bad for the world, and our countries. So he was very happy to sign an anti-corruption agreement with Taiwan, and cooperate in this field. Governor-General Young then reiterated the love and friendship that the people of Belize have for Taiwan.
Following the meeting, President Tsai and Governor-General Young stood witness as Taiwan's Justice Minister Tsai and Belize's Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs Peyrefitte signed a bilateral agreement to cooperate on anti-corruption issues.
That agreement, based on the diplomatic friendship between Taiwan and Belize, will increase the capacity of both countries to effectively prevent and fight corruption, which will promote the development of clean government practices and prevent cross-border corruption and crime, and establish a partnership in the pursuit of clean government.
After the signing ceremony, the two heads of state, the respective foreign affairs ministers, ambassadors, the Justice Minister and the Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs raised a toast to smooth and successful bilateral cooperation.
The delegation also included Belize Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, accompanied by Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and Belizean Ambassador to Taiwan Diane Haylock. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維).