President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) spoke on the pursuit of peace and stability in a speech he delivered on Friday at the parliament of St Lucia.
Ma, who arrived in Castries from Paraguay late on Thursday after attending the inauguration of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, said that since he took office in 2008, he has worked on improving cross-strait relations, while also adopting a flexible diplomatic policy, and has achieved tangible results in strengthening Taiwan’s relations with other countries.
Ma pledged to share the experience of Taiwan’s development with St Lucia and to promote the Caribbean nation’s infrastructure and various cooperation projects, including the prevention of black sigatoka, a leaf-spot disease that affects bananas.
He said that an easing of cross-strait tensions and the promotion of regional stability highlights the role of the Republic of China (ROC) as a peacemaker.
“The ROC will continue to play the roles of peacemaker, provider of humanitarian assistance, promoter of cultural exchanges, creator of new technology and business opportunities, and trailblazer of Chinese culture,” Ma said.
Ma also lauded St Lucia’s booming tourism industry, saying that although the country has a population of only about 160,000, it attracts more than 900,000 visitors annually.
He attributed this great success to the country’s tantalizing landscape and its friendly and hospitable people.
Ma also invited St Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Davis Anthony to visit Taiwan to explore cooperation in a bid to help solve the jobless problem facing that country’s youth, and further upgrade bilateral friendship and cooperation.
The St Lucian parliament presented Ma with resolutions on supporting the ROC’s participation in two international organizations — the International Civil Aviation Organization and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change — which it passed recently in a bid to show it welcomes Ma’s visit and its support of the ROC.
Ma earlier signed a joint communique with Anthony.
He later visited a farm run by a Taiwanese mission, where a Taiwanese volunteer told Ma that she started a weight control class in April for local people to help reduce a chronic-disease problem.
As local people usually do not have scales at home, Ma suggested providing scales for public places to help local people with their weight control efforts.
Ma is on a five-nation diplomatic tour that began in Haiti, after a transit stop in New York.