On the morning of September 16, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Ambassador of the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis Jasmine Elise Huggins, and expressed gratitude for her contributions to deepening the partnership between Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis. President Tsai also expressed hope that our countries, in the spirit of mutual assistance for mutual benefit, will continue to strengthen cooperation and advance the welfare of our peoples.
A translation of the president's remarks follows:
Ambassador Huggins is a highly experienced diplomat who served for many years in Washington, DC before arriving in Taiwan, where she has now been posted for more than 14 years. Having taken on the role of ambassador to Taiwan in 2010, she is not only remarkably familiar with Taiwan, but is also the head of mission with the longest tenure in Taiwan among all foreign diplomats currently serving here. When I learned of Ambassador Huggins's forthcoming departure, I knew it would be very difficult for me, like many of our colleagues, to bid her goodbye.
For many years now, Ambassador Huggins has worked to strengthen our countries' partnership, helping Taiwan and the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis forge a firm friendship. She could consistently be seen at a range of events, including the Taiwan Lantern Festival and the Caribbean Food Festival, actively championing Caribbean culture and values.
During her tenure as dean of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Huggins organized many activities, including the Women's Day Luncheon co-hosted with Australian Office Representative Jenny Bloomfield. Ambassador Huggins's remarks at this year's Women's Power Night reception, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were also exceptional, and left a deep impression on me.
I believe that Ambassador Huggins's exemplary career in government service can encourage even more women to participate in public affairs. The ambassador was also deeply engaged on the local level here, as part of which she threw out the first pitch at a Chinese Professional Baseball League game. I believe that these occasions generated even more opportunities for in-depth exchanges between the peoples of Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis.
I would also like to thank Ambassador Huggins and the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis for long defending Taiwan's international status and rights. In the face of unwarranted provocations by authoritarian forces, it is even more important that democracies come together to show our strength in unity.
Building upon the firm foundation established by Ambassador Huggins, Taiwan and St. Christopher and Nevis, in the spirit of mutual assistance for mutual benefit, will continue to strengthen cooperation and advance the welfare of our peoples.
Ambassador Huggins has lived here for such a long time that I think Taiwan has become another home to her. Ambassador Huggins, I wish you all the best on your next steps. You will always be one of Taiwan's greatest friends. We will miss you very much, and welcome you to come back and visit at any time.
In her own remarks, Ambassador Huggins thanked the president as well as the government and people of Taiwan for the support they provided to St. Christopher and Nevis and to her personally, saying that Taiwan has been a constant presence, a willing and able partner, and a friend to her country ever since its independence.
Recalling that she arrived in Taiwan on December 4, 2007, and helped establish the embassy of St. Christopher and Nevis in January 2008, Ambassador Huggins noted that our countries' bilateral cooperation has spanned a range of fields and has benefited the people of her country, and expressed pride at the role her country has played in advancing our shared values and priorities.
Ambassador Huggins further stated that our shared belief in democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human dignity regardless of gender are the foundation on which our countries' friendship has been built, and expressed hope that the friendship between our countries will continue to flourish long after she has departed.
Reflecting on her more than 14 years residing in Taiwan, Ambassador Huggins said she feels uniquely blessed to have met so many wonderful people, and stated that the scope and diversity of those encounters have enriched her life, enlarged her vision, contributed to her growth and development, and will serve her well going forward. She added that she will continue to keep abreast of Taiwan's progress, and will pray for Taiwan's peace and stability.