President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Mrs. Chen, hosted a state banquet for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Mrs. Gonsalves on the evening of August 7. The president expressed hope that Taiwan and SVG continue to promote a wide range of projects to jointly achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Last month, as part of my Journey of Freedom, Democracy and Sustainability, I visited Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. I thank Prime Minister Gonsalves and Madame Gonsalves for personally welcoming me and according warm hospitality to our entire delegation. The beautiful Caribbean scenery and friendly people made a deep impression on me.
It is a great honor to receive you in Taiwan. I am convinced that, with the help of Ambassador Andrea Bowman and through our joint efforts, our exchanges and cooperation will continue to expand.
Prime Minister, I understand that your son Storm and daughters Isis and Soleil have all attended Mandarin courses in Taiwan. In fact, Isis, who passed her bar exam in New York three years ago, is here with the delegation. I am happy to hear that Isis is now contributing her considerable talent to the work of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' Permanent Mission to the UN. Welcome back to Taiwan, Isis. And to all members of the delegation: I hope your stay in Taiwan will be as enjoyable and unforgettable as ours in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
During my visit to your beautiful country, I witnessed many important bilateral cooperation projects, which are all producing excellent results. The Botanical Gardens and library were particularly stunning. Curator Gordon Shallow, who showed me around the gardens in fluent Mandarin, previously studied in Taiwan as well. His language proficiency, which truly amazed me, is the best possible testament to the success of our educational cooperation.
We continue to promote a wide range of projects in order to share Taiwan's technology and experience, help advance the national development of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and jointly achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Tomorrow, August 8, is a special day. It is the prime minister's birthday, as well as Father's Day here in Taiwan. To make it even more memorable, the prime minister will unveil the plaque for the new Embassy of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. On behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, I wish you a happy birthday and Father's Day.
Now, please join me in a toast: To the continued prosperity of our two countries, and to the enduring brotherhood among our peoples. Thank you!
Prime Minister Gonsalves then delivered remarks, saying that he was delighted to have been so warmly received by President Tsai. He noted that his current trip marked the 11th time he has visited Taiwan, and his 10th as prime minister. Each of his visits, he said, fortifies the esteem in which he holds this land, the Republic of China (Taiwan).
The prime minister continued by saying that humanity stands in awe of Taiwan's remarkable achievements in every field of human endeavor, and that SVG is proud and honored to count Taiwan as a dear friend, and to be counted as such by Taiwan. For 38 of the 40 years that SVG has been an independent country, it has enjoyed strong diplomatic ties with Taiwan. We have many things in common, he said, and as island nations we face the vagaries of climate change and a complicated global political economy. Our bilateral friendship, however, does not mean enmity to any other nation. Indeed, SVG is a friend to all nations, and through such friendships, we strive for a better world.
That principled stance, he said, allowed SVG to be elected by the United Nations General Assembly as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. The relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and SVG have entered a mature phase, and the establishment of an SVG Embassy in Taiwan is one manifestation of that process of maturation. To close his remarks, Prime Minister Gonsalves expressed hope that Taiwan and SVG may continue to work together to promote global peace, security, prosperity, and sustainable development.
Banquet attendees included National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Control Yuan President Chang Po-ya (張博雅), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Legislators Kuan Bi-Ling (管碧玲), Lo Chih-Cheng (羅致政), Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), Taiwan Ambassador to SVG Calvin C.H. Ho (何震寰), SVG Ambassador to Taiwan Andrea Bowman, and Nicaraguan Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Aleman (head of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan).