Our 12-day "Journey of Freedom, Democracy, and Sustainability" has come to a smooth conclusion.
On this trip we visited our diplomatic allies in the Caribbean including Haiti, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia. We also made transit stops in New York on the way out, and Denver on the way back. Seeing these places first-hand helped us better understand the state of cooperative ties and friendship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and its diplomatic allies.
We've also seen that the historical experiences of our diplomatic allies, which are new democracies just like us, are similar to Taiwan's. We talked a lot about our experiences with ethnicity issues and the transition to democracy. For example, our diplomatic allies showed great interest in the apology our government made to Taiwan's indigenous peoples.
I also came to appreciate that although our Caribbean diplomatic allies are not large, and their economies are still developing, democracy has nevertheless taken firm root in their countries.
And in addition to their notable success in establishing democracy, these diplomatic allies also deserve special mention for the way they've actively spoken out on Taiwan's behalf on the international stage. It is because of their support that the issue of Taiwan continues to command international attention. We cherish friends like these.
Over the past few years, we've worked hard to show the world that "Taiwan can help," and have successfully crafted an image of Taiwan as "responsible and willing to contribute." The world sees Taiwan as a force for good in the international community. We need to emphasize once again that Taiwan has the ability to help other countries, and needs other countries to speak up on our behalf on the international stage. This is the essence of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits."
Our stopovers in the United States this time were longer than in the past, and we had more opportunities to exchange thoughts with friends in political and academic circles, think tanks, scientific research organizations, and the business and industrial communities. Some say this means our bilateral relations have been "upgraded," but I think it would be more accurate to say our relations have been "deepened."
Engaging with the world is the shared wish of all the people of Taiwan. I, too, hope we can all rally together in a unity that includes both the ruling and opposition camps. All our citizens need to band together, regardless whether we favor the "Taiwan faction," the "Republic of China faction," or the "Republic of China (Taiwan) faction." I hope we can all unite, and work together to engage with the world.