The Office of the President held a press conference on the morning of
July 1 to announce that President Tsai Ing-wen will lead a delegation on
a state visit to Haiti, St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the
Grenadines, and St. Lucia from July 11-22. At the press conference, Vice
Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Li-Jey Tsao (曹立傑) detailed the
itinerary for the state visit.
Vice Minister Tsao stated that President Tsai will visit Haiti, St.
Christopher and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and St. Lucia,
respectively, from July 11-22. The purpose of this visit is to demonstrate
the importance Taiwan places on our Caribbean allies and continue to
strengthen our friendly ties with them.
Vice Minister Tsao pointed out that this state visit centers around the
themes of freedom, democracy, and sustainability because the four
Caribbean countries President Tsai’s delegation will be visiting, as well
as the United States where she will make transit stops, are all free,
democratic, like-minded partners of Taiwan. All these countries actively
promote democracy and freedom in the region. During this state visit, the
delegation will visit Taiwan’s various cooperative programs helping to
promote sustainable development in these countries, and we will work to
achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he
Vice Minister Tsao further stated that over the course of the state visit,
President Tsai will meet with Haitian President Jovenel Moise, St.
Christopher and Nevis Governor-General Sir Tapley Seaton and Prime
Minister Timothy Harris, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister
Ralph Gonsalves, and St. Lucia Governor-General Emmanuel Neville
Cenac and Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, respectively. President Tsai
will discuss and exchange ideas with them regarding bilateral and
international issues of mutual concern and attend state banquets held in
her honor. The Order of St. Christopher and Nevis, the country’s highest
honor, will also be conferred upon President Tsai by Governor-General
Seaton for her outstanding contributions to our bilateral friendship.
President Tsai will also give an address to Parliament.
Vice Minister Tsao further explained that President Tsai will visit a
number of Taiwan’s bilateral cooperative projects in these countries, and
further advocate Taiwan’s steadfast diplomacy with mutual assistance for
mutual benefits, so that our allies can achieve the UN’s SDGs. She will
also attend a banquet with Taiwan Scholarship recipients and alumni from
Taiwan universities, and will host a banquet for our ambassadors,
technical missions, and their spouses, to show our government’s care,
concern, and encouragement for their work.
Commenting on the planned itinerary, Vice Minister Tsao said the
delegation’s trip is scheduled as follows: July 11—depart Taiwan at noon,
making a two-evening transit stop in the United States; July 13, noon—
make a brief visit to Haiti; July 13 (evening) to 16—visit St. Christopher
and Nevis; July 16 to 17—visit St. Vincent and the Grenadines; July 17
to 19—visit St. Lucia; July 19 to 21—depart St. Lucia, making a twoevening transit stop in the United States; July 22—return to Taiwan.
In all, the trip will last for 12 days and 11 nights. Plans for the transit stops
in the US on the outbound and return legs of the trip are still being
arranged in consultation with US authorities, with appropriate care being
taken to ensure security, dignity, convenience, and comfort. Once the
arrangements have been finalized, the Office of the President will release
details to the public.
Vice Minister Tsao mentioned that as Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the
Caribbean all place high priority on attracting foreign investments and
promoting tourism, representatives of industry in Taiwan will be invited
to organize a delegation to attend a Taiwan Product Exhibition in Haiti
that will coincide with the upcoming trip. President Tsai and Haitian
President Jovenel Moise will jointly preside over the ribbon cutting
ceremony at the Exhibition to signal their firm intention to continue
strengthening the two countries’ economic and trade partnership. Also,
Taiwan will dispatch a tourism industry delegation to explore the travel
environment and market trends in St. Christopher and Nevis, St. Lucia,
and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. They will have the opportunity to
establish channels for cooperation with local travel industry firms, spur
further exchanges with the travel industry in Taiwan’s Caribbean allies,
and make arrangements for the Taipei-based Formosa Circus Art to
perform in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to showcase Taiwan’s diverse
culture to the world.
Vice Minister Tsao stated that among those taking part in this delegation
will be National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維
), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister Wu Hsin-hsing
(吳新興) of the Overseas Community Affairs Council, and other cabinet
and deputy cabinet members, members of the Legislative Yuan, and
representatives of business and industry.
Vice Minister Tsao emphasized that pursuing summit diplomacy and
building personal friendships with top leaders of Taiwan’s diplomatic
allies is a key focal point of the government’s diplomatic work, and is the
most important task for Taiwan as it seeks to promote “steadfast
diplomacy” and solidify alliances. President Tsai, he noted, has led three
delegations on visits to diplomatic allies in Central and South America
since taking office in May 2016, but she has not yet visited our diplomatic
allies in the Caribbean. Numerous high-ranking officials from those
countries have visited Taiwan, and on multiple occasions have verbally
relayed sincere invitations to President Tsai on behalf of their
governments and people. President Tsai has also received formal
invitations from these countries’ governments.
In closing, Vice Minister Tsao explained that President Tsai will have a
full agenda during her state visit to these four Caribbean diplomatic allies.
Arrangements are still being worked out, and the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs will continue working with other agencies of the Taiwan
government as well as our diplomatic allies to ensure a successful trip.