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Taiwan President Ma meets Prime Minister Stephenson King

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Contact: Luicus Doxerie


Monday, August 3, 2009 – President Ma Ying-jeou of the Republic of China (Taiwan) met with Saint Lucia Prime Minister Stephenson King and Mrs. King on the morning of July 23 at the Presidential Office. The president, on behalf of the government and people of the ROC (Taiwan), extended a cordial welcome to them and the delegation. In the delegation are Honourable Arsene James, Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Edmund Estephane, Minister for Labour, Information and Broadcasting, H. E. June Soomer, Ambassador to OECS and the CARICOM, among others.


President Ma noted that the ROC and Saint Lucia first established diplomatic relations in 1984. While formal ties were severed between the two nations in 1997, diplomatic relations were resumed in 2007. Last year, former President Chen Shui-bian visited Saint Lucia, and early this year Judicial Yuan President Lai In-jaw, on behalf of President Ma, attended events held in Saint Lucia to commemorate 30 years of independence. This trip marks Prime Minister King's second visit to Taiwan. The frequent contacts demonstrate that the two countries share the values of democracy and the rule of law, he said. In addition, a continued expansion of the cooperative relationship symbolizes the strong alliance and friendship between the ROC (Taiwan) and Saint Lucia, he added.


President Ma said that while Saint Lucia's population is only 170,000 people, which is less than 1% of Taiwan's, however, it has produced two Nobel Prize recipients, indicating the quality of the people in Saint Lucia. President Ma commended that Prime Minister King has spared no effort in promoting ties between the two countries. President Ma expressed his hope that this visit to Taiwan by Prime Minister King will help to further strengthen bilateral friendship based on the existing foundation. 


The president remarked that since taking office, he has made three visits to Latin America and the Caribbean, which have made a deep impression on him that new methods of cooperation need to be adopted between Taiwan and its diplomatic allies in the region. President Ma stressed that in the future Taiwan will utilize a wide range of educational resources to expand and enhance cooperation and interaction with its regional allies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education are jointly promoting courses of study at universities here that are carried out entirely in English. At the same time, these two Ministries are significantly increasing the number of scholarships available for students from allied and friendly nations to come to study inn Taiwan and learn about its successful development experiences first hand. Besides short-term cooperation projects, programs such as these will provide educational opportunities for the younger generation and build relations for the long term, he said. President Ma added that economic and trade cooperation will be expanded upon by bolstering cultural and educational interaction. This will enable relations between the ROC(Taiwan) and its allies to continue on a sustainable basis, he said. The president noted that this is an important development in the Taiwan’s diplomatic policies.


Prime Minister King expressed his appreciation to President Ma for his warm welcome. He added he has deeply sensed the warmth, friendship and hospitality of the people of Taiwan during his stay here over the past two days. While the two nations are located a long distance from each other, the friendship and alliance between the two are indisputable, he said. Prime Minister King also thanked President Ma for delegating Judicial Yuan President Lai to attend the celebrations in February of this year to mark Saint Lucia's 30th anniversary of independence. He also cordially invited President Ma to attend his nation's celebrations marking 31 years of independence and events to mark the 25-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the ROC and Saint Lucia.


Prime Minister King also remarked that over the past two years, the ROC has provided considerable assistance to his country in carrying out infrastructure projects, helping to significantly improve medical treatment and hygiene in Saint Lucia. He said that the people of Saint Lucia are deeply appreciative of this assistance. The prime minister also expressed his gratitude to the ROC government for increasing the number of scholarships it is offering, thereby providing more opportunities for students from Saint Lucia to come to Taiwan and receive a top quality education.


In this trip to Taiwan, Prime Minister King and his delegation also met with Taiwan’s Premier LIU, Chao-Hsiuan, Foreign Minister Francisco OU, and visited Shin Kong Hospital, Tzu Chi Hospital, Tzu Chi University, National Dong Hwa University and its Business Incubation Center, Hsinchu Air Force Base, Kingcar Orchid Farm, National Center for Traditional Arts and others in northern and eastern Taiwan.

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