On the afternoon of September 17, President Tsai Ing-wen addressed an online event celebrating the 40th anniversary of the independence of Belize. In recorded remarks, President Tsai stated that since establishing diplomatic relations 32 years ago, Taiwan and Belize have developed a close friendship, collaborating on joint projects to improve healthcare, infrastructure, and agricultural development. The president said our two countries will continue to strengthen our bilateral partnership and wide-ranging cooperation in order to advance the well-being of our peoples.
A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:
On behalf of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I want to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of this September 21st, the 40th anniversary of the independence of Belize.
Over our 32 years of diplomatic relations, Taiwan and Belize have developed a close friendship, collaborating on joint projects to promote healthcare, infrastructure, and agricultural development.
In 2018, I had the honor of visiting Belize. Your country's natural beauty, friendly people, and the fruitful results of our bilateral cooperation left a deep impression on me.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Taiwan and Belize have worked side-by-side to fight the pandemic by sharing both information and resources. As part of this collaboration, Belizean nurses came to the Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, where they finished training this past August. I am confident that these medical professionals will contribute what they have learned here to protect the health of the Belizean people.
The Taiwan-Belize partnership also continues to grow in a number of other areas. Last year, our two countries signed an economic cooperation agreement (ECA), which our Legislative Yuan is on track to review and approve. This agreement will further strengthen our bilateral trade partnership, encouraging more Taiwanese businesses to invest in Belize while making Belizean exports more competitive.
Likewise, Taiwan and Belize last year signed agreements to expand cooperation in legal assistance and aviation services. These agreements all reflect our nations' close exchanges across a range of fields.
Belize has actively spoken out on the global stage in support of Taiwan's international participation. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I want to again express my deep gratitude for your country's support and friendship.
Looking back over the past 32 years, Taiwan and Belize have always stood up for one another. I am sure that, going forward, we will continue to strengthen our nations' partnership and advance the well-being of our peoples. I wish Belize all the best on the anniversary of your independence. Thank you.