Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and Prime Minister Denzil Douglas inspecting the guard of honour on Sunday shortly after the president arrived in St Kitts
By Caribbean News Now contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts -- The president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou, was warmly welcomed to St Kitts and Nevis on Sunday for a state visit that reflects 30 years of a strong diplomatic relationship.
Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas stated on the president’s arrival that “if the past 30 years have taught us only one thing... it is that, where the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is concerned, distance, great though it may be, has been rendered irrelevant in the face of the bonds of friendship and cooperation and collaboration and mutual respect that connect our nations and have gotten stronger these passing years.”
He further noted that, when St Kitts and Nevis attained independence in 1983, Taiwan was among the first nations to establish diplomatic ties.
President Ma outlined why the federation has been such an important diplomatic ally.
“Over the past years our two countries have assisted each other in the international community and international development through cooperation and exchanges in tourism, green energy, agriculture, human resource, education and culture,” he said.
The president also stated that his visit will deepen his understanding of the two country’s bilateral cooperation and exchanges.
Ma spent Sunday in a number of activities, including signing an extradition treaty, after which he visited the Agro Tourism Demonstration Farm. He also enjoyed presentations at the historic Brimstone Hill National Park. The president’s day of activities culminated with an official state dinner hosted by Governor General Sir Edmund Lawrence.
On Monday morning, the president made his way to the Silver Jubilee Stadium to jog with young athletes of the Federation. Ma also visited the Solar Farm situated at the international airport.
He was due to make a courtesy call on Prime Minister Douglas at Government Headquarters where he will sign a joint communiqué at the National Assembly Chambers, before leaving the Federation on Monday afternoon.