Thu, Jul 13, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Tsai welcomes Paraguayan president

STRENGTHENING TIES:The foreign ministry announced new regulations allowing citizens of the nation’s 11 Latin American and Caribbean allies visa-free entry to Taiwan

Staff writer, with AP and CNA

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, center left, presents President Tsai Ing-wen, center right, with a Republic of China national flag made of nanduti, a traditional Paraguayan embroidered lace, at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo courtesy of the Presidential Office

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday issued a “most heartfelt welcome” to Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, who is making his third visit to Taiwan since assuming the presidency in 2013.

Tsai hosted a welcome ceremony in the plaza in front of the Presidential Office Building, with Cartes being greeted by a 21-gun salute as the national anthems of the two countries were played.

The two presidents then observed a parade of honor guards and military bands.

Cartes and a delegation of officials arrived in Taiwan on Tuesday for a three-day state visit to attend various events to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations.

The two heads of state held talks at the Presidential Office, with Cartes saying his country would continue to help Taiwan take part in international organizations and activities.

Tsai said she felt the warm hospitality of the Paraguayan government and people when she visited the South American country in late June last year.

Paraguay is a good friend of Taiwan, Tsai said, adding that whenever Taiwan is treated unfairly in the international community, Paraguay always speaks up for Taiwan.

Tsai said Taiwan is promoting innovative industries, and expressed the hope that the two nations could cooperate in the areas of “green” energy and new agriculture.

Lauding Taiwan-Paraguay relations, Cartes expressed his highest regards for the people who had founded the Republic of China.

He said that Taiwan and Paraguay established diplomatic ties 60 years ago for the betterment of both nations and that he believed such aspirations have not changed for the peoples and governments of both nations.

Although a world apart, the two nations are bound by mutual affections, Cartes said, adding that he hoped they would be able to continue such relations and partnerships.

During his speech, Cartes mentioned “Chiang Kai-shek” (蔣介石) three times, remarks that were automatically skipped over by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ translator.

According to a ministry spokesperson, the ministry was aware that the translators had either intentionally or unwittingly skipped translation of certain phrases, adding that the ministry would strive to do better.

The spokesperson said the ministry had informed its Paraguayan counterparts of the incident and explained what happened.

In related news, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced new rules allowing citizens of the nation’s 11 diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean visa-free entry to Taiwan.

The policy “highlights the importance our nation attaches to our Latin American and Caribbean allies,” the ministry said.

Effective immediately, citizens of Paraguay, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia are to be allowed to enter and stay in Taiwan visa-free for up to 30 days, while those of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua are to be allowed 90 days.

No reason was given for the differing period of stay or the decision not to extend visa-free entry privileges to the nation’s nine other diplomatic allies.

The ministry also expressed “dissatisfaction and deep regret” over Bahrain forcing the renaming of Taiwan’s local representative office from the “Trade Mission of Taiwan” to the “Trade Office of Taipei.”

Additional reporting by Abraham Gerber

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