The President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ma Ying-Jeou, today arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. His visit is part of a seven-day farewell tour with high-ranking officers from Taiwan. The President is in Belize for a two-day state visit, that will include meetings with the Caribbean and Central American leaders including the Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; and St. Kitts and Nevis, Honorable Timothy Harris. President Ma was greeted by Belize’s executive leader, Governor-General Sir Colville Young, and a cheering band from the Taiwanese community. Taiwanese locals Jason Chang and Orin Wu, the latter of whom publishes the Chinese Journal for the community here and in Taiwan, spoke about their excitement for President Ma’s visit to Belize, and being able to have met him:
During his speech at the welcome ceremony that took place at the airport, President Ma took the time out to thank the people of the Caribbean for their support following the February 6 earthquake in the South of Taiwan. He also spoke of exchanging views on matters of mutual concern and renewing friendships with Belize and the leaders from the Eastern Caribbean, as well as leaders of the Taiwanese Community in Belize. He stated, quote, “In doing so, my delegation and I can see for ourselves first-hand the outcomes and achievement of our viable diplomacy, further consolidate the partnership and friendship between our respective allies, and meet face-to-face with our diplomats and their families who have made tremendous contributions to our bilateral relations with the Caribbean allies.” End quote.
Belize's Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow and the Eastern Caribbean leaders will be meeting with President Ma at a round table discussion at the Radisson hotel in Belize City which was set to begin at 6:00 pm tonight. His visit will conclude tomorrow when, the President will conduct a bicycle tour in Belize City; meet with local Taiwanese leaders and visit Altun Ha before departing for Los Angeles. President Ma has been in office since 2008 and his tour is part of his farewell seeing that he is not eligible for re-election due to term limits and his party, the Kuo-min-tang, lost this year’s presidential and legislative elections to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by Tsai Ing-wen, who takes office as Taiwan’s first woman president in May.
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