Exchanges between Taiwan and Saint Lucia have grown even closer over the past two years, as Prime Minister [Allen] Chastanet has visited Taiwan three times. And today, I am delighted to be visiting Saint Lucia for the first time at the invitation of the Prime Minister.
Since we resumed diplomatic relations in 2007, Saint Lucia has been a staunch ally in the Caribbean. Over these past years, Taiwan and Saint Lucia have launched many important cooperation projects with the support of Prime Minister Chastanet.
Health care has been an area of particular note. Changhua Christian Hospital and St. Jude Hospital have become sister hospitals. We have maintained frequent and meaningful exchanges of medical technology and health care personnel over the years.
Taiwan’s medical teams are often lauded for the work they do, and on my state visits, I often make a point of visiting hospitals to learn about the results of our medical programs. This is because Taiwan’s soft power in health care and medicine is renowned internationally. Through exchanges and mutual assistance programs with our diplomatic allies, we can truly help those in need. I believe that this is really putting into practice the spirit of our policy of steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits.
St. Jude Hospital suffered from an unfortunate fire in 2009. Aside from expressing our sympathies, we have long hoped to support the hospital’s renovation, as this would improve health care quality.
Since taking office, Prime Minister Chastanet has pushed hard for improvements to St. Jude Hospital. Through the combined efforts of both of our governments and public-private partnership, we can finally begin to realize the dreams that the people of Saint Lucia have looked forward to for such a long time.
So I find it especially meaningful to be participating in the groundbreaking ceremony for St. Jude Hospital’s renovation. I am delighted to be able to witness this important moment alongside distinguished guests and the people of Saint Lucia today.
This redevelopment will not only improve health care quality for people in the south of Saint Lucia, but also contribute toward the UN SDG of ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages. I am confident that once construction is complete, Saint Lucia’s overall health care system will be further strengthened.
In recent years, Taiwan and Saint Lucia have engaged in many important cooperative initiatives in such areas as infrastructure, agriculture, ICT, and education, yielding positive results.
I hope that through these kinds of cooperation projects, we can benefit the people of both our nations. This is the most important goal of my Journey of Democracy, Freedom, and Sustainability.