President Tsai Ing-wen touched down July 17 in St. Lucia on the final leg of her Journey of Freedom, Democracy, Sustainability that also included stops in Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Upon deplaning at Hewanorra International Airport, Tsai was greeted by Prime Minister Allen M. Chastanet and a military honor guard. The pair held discussions on the nations' shared interests and values, before breaking ground on the St. Jude Hospital reconstruction project in Vieux Fort.
Speaking at the ceremony, Tsai said strong and friendly relations between Taiwan and St. Lucia are underscored by increasing exchanges in areas spanning agriculture, education, information and communication technology, infrastructure and medicine.
According to Tsai, Taiwan is committed to sharing its health care expertise with allies and like-minded partners through promoting collaborative projects and dispatching medical missions. These efforts are in line with the principle of mutual assistance for mutual benefits underpinning the government's steadfast diplomacy, she said, adding that they also show how Taiwan Can Help advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Other highlights of Tsai's stay include taking part in a luncheon hosted by Chastanet, meeting with Governor-General Emmanuel Neville Cenac and attending a state banquet in her honor. She also visited the Inland Reception and Distribution Center to inspect a bilateral initiative aimed at revitalizing St. Lucia's banana industry.
The next day, the president is scheduled to address parliament and meet with members of Taiwan's technical missions.
Prior to departing for St. Lucia from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tsai attended a reception hosted by Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves. She also presided over a launch ceremony for a new intelligent bus management and monitoring system, and witnessed a vehicle handover ceremony led by Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu and Commissioner of Police Colin John.
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 Wu, National Security Council Secretary-General David Tawei Lee and Secretary-General to the President Chen Chu.
Tsai and her delegation will wrap up her state trip July 19 and stopover in the U.S. city of Denver before returning July 22 to Taiwan.
Source: Taiwan Today