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President Tsai hosts state banquet for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
President Tsai hosts state banquet for Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

On August 8, President Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by Vice President Lai Ching-te, hosted a state luncheon in honor of Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the Presidential Office following a welcome ceremony with military honors, bilateral talks, and the signing of bilateral treaties and a letter of intent.  

A translation of the president's remarks follows:

It is a great pleasure to host this state banquet at the Presidential Office to welcome Prime Minister Gonsalves and the distinguished members of his delegation. I would like to thank you all once again for visiting us, and for demonstrating the profound bond of friendship between Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

Through many exchanges over the years, we have deepened relations between our countries and the friendship between our peoples, stimulating more and more cooperation. With the backing of Prime Minister Gonsalves, we look forward to continuing to strengthen cooperation and mutual support with St. Vincent and the Grenadines and others throughout the Caribbean. This will create even more benefits for both of our peoples.

Today is a special day. August 8 is not just Father's Day in Taiwan; it is also Prime Minister Gonsalves' birthday. I recall that three years ago, on August 7, we celebrated Prime Minister Gonsalves' birthday here, and I am delighted that three years later, Prime Minister Gonsalves is once again visiting Taiwan, giving us an opportunity to extend birthday greetings in person. So, on behalf of the people of Taiwan, I would like to wish Prime Minister Gonsalves a very happy birthday and Father's Day. 

Today, we have arranged a number of dishes for you all to enjoy. In closing, I want to wish Prime Minister Gonsalves the best of health, and good fortune and an enduring diplomatic partnership to our nations. Thank you.

Prime Minister Gonsalves then delivered remarks, expressing delight at the day's events, noting that the Christian community in St. Vincent and the Grenadines gives special thanks to the Lord for such days, and showing his appreciation for the decoration at the state banquet venue as well as for the grouper and other dishes served.

Saying that he had listened very carefully to President Tsai's remarks about the resilience of the people of Taiwan, Prime Minister Gonsalves observed that there is something called the "genius of the people" in both our civilizations, which have formal institutions, informal customs, and modes of behavior which touch on life, living, and production. The prime minister stated that, to mobilize the genius of the people, good leadership is required to inspire the people and to draw out from them that which is good and noble in them, qualities which the people themselves may not know they possess – all of which is the responsibility of a leader. He further stated that, on his trip, he has witnessed the uplifting leadership of the Republic of China (Taiwan) paired with its people's genius, resilience, and optimism, which together are a tribute to the greatness of this country.

In closing, Prime Minister Gonsalves once again thanked President Tsai and the people of Taiwan for their warm welcome.

Among those in attendance at the banquet 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), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥), St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Clare Bowman, and Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Peter Sha-li Lan (藍夏禮).

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