Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) is today to lead a Taiwanese delegation on a six-day visit to two of the nation’s Central American allies, El Salvador and Belize, the ministry said in a press release yesterday.
Wu is to tell high-level government officials from the two countries the importance that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) attaches to Taiwan’s relations and cooperative programs with them, the ministry said.
The trip was arranged at the invitation of Salvadoran Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Castaneda and Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, it said.
According to Wu’s itinerary, he would be visiting El Salvador from today to Sunday, during which he is to meet with Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Salvadoran Vice President Oscar Ortiz, Salvadoran Legislative Assembly President Norman Quijano and Castaneda.
Wu is also to meet with Salvadoran government officials from other agencies, as well as the leaders of its ruling and opposition parties, the ministry said, adding that he is to exchange opinions with them on bilateral ties and cooperative programs.
A meeting has been scheduled between Wu and Central American Integration System secretary-general Vinicio Cerezo to gain a deeper understanding of the development of cooperative programs between Taiwan and the regional organization, the ministry added.
Wu would deliver to Sanchez a letter from Tsai congratulating the Central American nation for the scheduled canonization of late Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero during the synod of bishops on Oct. 14 in Rome.
After concluding his visit in El Salvador, Wu would go to Belize for a two-day visit, during which he is to meet with Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Belizean Senate President Lee Mark Chang (鄭經緯), Belizean House of Representatives Deputy President Omar Figueroa, Elrington and other politicians, the ministry said.
Elrington is to confer the Order of Distinction on Wu for his dedication to promoting public and private-sector exchanges between the two nations, it added.
The trip comes amid the Chinese government’s intensified attempts to poach Taiwan’s diplomatic allies as a way of punishing the Tsai administration for refusing to toe its line.
Taiwan has lost four diplomatic allies since Tsai took office in May 2016: Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso.
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