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President Tsai officially welcomes Marshall Islands President Kabua with military honors
President Tsai officially welcomes Marshall Islands President Kabua with military honors

President Tsai Ing-wen officially welcomed President of the Marshall Islands David Kabua and First Lady Ginger Kabua on the morning of March 22 with full military honors. In remarks, President Tsai emphasized that the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands have always supported each other in overcoming all manner of challenges and are continuing to deepen our bilateral cooperation, which has consistently yielded excellent results.

The welcome ceremony began at 10:30 a.m. in the plaza fronting the Presidential Office. President Tsai and President Kabua each delivered remarks after a 21-gun salute, the playing of the two countries' national anthems, and a review of the military honor guard.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

Since President Kabua took office two years ago, Taiwan and the Marshall Islands have been working together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. This is President Kabua's first visit to Taiwan since assuming office. He is also the first head of state from a diplomatic ally in the Pacific to conduct a state visit to Taiwan since the outbreak of the global pandemic. On behalf of the people and government of Taiwan, I extend my sincerest welcome to President and First Lady Kabua, and all of our esteemed guests.

The international landscape has shifted radically since 1998, when the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands established diplomatic ties. Yet to this day, our two nations have always supported each other, overcoming various challenges along the way and continuing to deepen our cooperation, which has yielded excellent results.

I believe that President Kabua's visit will help our nations develop even closer relations and facilitate even more cooperation and exchange. I wish you all a successful state visit. Thank you.

President Kabua then delivered remarks, a transcript of which follows:

I am very honored to greet you this morning and I thank you all for your presence. I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Her Excellency President Tsai and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the gracious hospitality and warm welcome upon my arrival in this beautiful country. Taiwan is my first official visit overseas, and we are very happy and honored to be here, especially during this year, the Year of the Tiger, which is said to be an auspicious year and one that's predicted to bring positive change and prosperity. 

We come here filled with confidence that the unique alliance between our two countries continues to prosper and flourish. And with the rapid changes in the geopolitical landscape and challenges facing the world community today, it is imperative that we stand firm and united as democratic nations. In this sense, I call on other like-minded countries who share the same values of freedom and democracy to remain steadfast and committed to the principle of democratic governance. Taiwan is a shining example of a vibrant, peaceful, and progressive nation. It is time for Taiwan to take its rightful place as an equal member of the family of nations.

Lastly, I want to take this moment to reaffirm to Your Excellency and to the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) that the Republic of the Marshall Islands is strongly committed to further strengthening the bonds between our two countries. I offer my sincere thanks and gratitude to Your Excellency and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for welcoming our delegation. 

Thank you [Mandarin and Marshallese].

Also in attendance at the welcome ceremony were Vice President Lai Ching-te, Secretary-General to the President David T. Lee (李大維), National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), Examination Yuan Vice President Chou Hung-Hsien (周弘憲), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Marshall Islands Ambassador Neijon Rema Edwards, Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Jeffrey S.C. Hsiao (蕭勝中), and St. Christopher and Nevis Ambassador Jasmine Elise Huggins, who serves as dean of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan.

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