President Tsai Ing-wen departed July 11 on her Journey of Freedom, Democracy, Sustainability to Taiwan's Caribbean allies Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia.
The 12-day presidential visit, which includes U.S. stopovers in New York and Denver, aims to expand the country's international space and create mutually beneficial opportunities for the people. It also seeks to show how Taiwan Can Help promote the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and boost bilateral cooperation in related areas.
During Tsai's predeparture news conference at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, she said the trip comes at a time when the country's democratic way of life is under threat from external forces. This situation represents an opportunity for Taiwan to work even closer with like-minded partners in defending shared values such as freedom and democracy, Tsai added.
According to the Presidential Office, Tsai is scheduled to arrive July 13 in Haiti. She will join President Jovenel Moise in opening a Taiwan product exhibition before holding high-level discussions with senior government officials.
Next stop is St. Kitts and Nevis, where Tsai's four-day stay features meetings with Governor-General S. W. Tapley Seaton and Prime Minister Timothy S. Harris. She is scheduled to receive the Order of St. Kitts and Nevis for her extensive contributions to advancing bilateral relations.
Upon touching down July 16 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tsai will hold talks with Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves and address the parliament. The following day, she is set to arrive in St. Lucia and meet with Governor-General Emmanuel Neville Cenac and Prime Minister Allen M. Chastanet.
Other highlights of the visit are attending state banquets, inspecting cooperation projects, participating in functions for Taiwan Scholarship recipients and alumni, and taking part in consultations with embassy, medical and technical mission staffers.
According to the PO, Tsai was greeted onboard the presidential charter in New York by James F. Moriarty, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, and Stanley Kao, head of Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the U.S. After deplaning, she took part in a special reception at Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York attended by representatives from the permanent missions of Taiwan's allies to the U.N.
The trip is Tsai's first to the region as head of state and seventh abroad since assuming office in May 2016. Accompanying officials include Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu, National Security Council Secretary-General David Tawei Lee and Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu.
Tsai and her delegation will return July 22 to Taiwan.
Source: Taiwan Today