On November 29, President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a state luncheon in honor of Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre of Saint Lucia at the Presidential Office following a welcome ceremony with military honors and bilateral talks. In remarks, President Tsai expressed her belief that people-to-people ties are the foundation of our nations' bilateral relationship, and said that Taiwan will continue to promote scholarship programs and Mandarin education to foster understanding between the young people of our countries, forging an even more resilient friendship.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
It is my great pleasure to host a state banquet in the Presidential Office to welcome our good friend, Prime Minister Pierre, and all the distinguished delegation members. I would like to thank you again for visiting, which demonstrates the deep friendship between our countries.
I visited Saint Lucia in 2019. Its beautiful scenery and the warm hospitality of its people left a deep impression on me, and I personally witnessed the results of our bilateral cooperation across a range of fields. Since then, we have continued to strengthen relations between our countries through a number of cooperative projects.
Last month, Taiwan reopened its borders. Going forward, Taiwan will cooperate more and more closely with Saint Lucia and other nations.
A perfect example is the Saint Lucia-Taiwan Partnership Trade Show, which we jointly organized in Saint Lucia earlier this month. There, Saint Lucian chefs demonstrated their ingenuity by using fruit and vegetables from the Taiwan Technical Mission's demonstration farm to cook delicious Asian-Caribbean fusion cuisine, deepening exchanges between our nations and connections between our peoples.
I believe that people-to-people ties are the foundation of our bilateral relationship. Taiwan will continue to promote scholarship programs and Mandarin education to foster understanding between the young people of our countries, forging an even more resilient friendship.
Today, we have prepared an abundant selection of dishes for our distinguished guests to experience the fine cuisine of Taiwan.
In closing, I wish Prime Minister Pierre the best of health, and Taiwan and Saint Lucia an enduring partnership.
In his own remarks, Prime Minister Pierre said he is honored to gather at the Presidential Office to celebrate the friendship between Taiwan and Saint Lucia, and noted that for him to travel, meet, and bring greetings from Saint Lucia would not have been possible two years ago.
Observing that the world had changed overnight because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Pierre said he and his delegation are blessed to have this day to sit and break bread together, and asked that, as we enjoy fellowship with each other, we also remember those who have given us the opportunity to live out our purpose in this world – the people whom we are called to serve, and the people whom we must continue to put first.
Prime Minister Pierre pointed out that we represent our peoples as well as the shared aspirations of our nations, which transcend the differences in size and distance between us. He said that the peoples of both our countries want to enjoy better housing, access to education, better healthcare, human rights, and freedom of association, and noted that these are some of the ideals which we share as we seek to make this world a better place.
Calling for continued efforts to shape more tolerant societies that protect the vulnerable and marginalized amongst us, Prime Minister Pierre said he and his delegation look forward to continuing their visit, to sharing more pleasant memories, and to learning and sharing experiences that will benefit the peoples of our countries, and thanked President Tsai for her hospitality.
Saint Lucia Ambassador Robert Kennedy Lewis was among those in attendance at the banquet.