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President Tsai arrives in Belize, receives warm welcome

2018/08/17 11:09:08

Belize City, Aug. 16 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Belize on Thursday afternoon and received a warm welcome in the Central American country, one of Taiwan's 18 diplomatic allies.

After wrapping up a three-day visit to Paraguay, Tsai arrived in Belize City and was greeted by Governor-General Colville Young and a military salute with two helicopters and one plane flying above.

The national anthems of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Belize were also played to signal the close bilateral relationship, and Taiwanese expatriates waved the national flags of the two countries to greet Tsai.

Later in the day, Tsai was decorated by Young with the Order of Belize as a recognition of "the valuable contributions that Taiwan has made to Belize's development over the nearly three decades of friendship," according to a statement released by Belize.

"The presidential visit is expected to enhance mutual understanding, expand exchanges and make further progress on developing and implementing joint initiatives spanning agriculture, education, information and communication technology, medical care and vocational training," the statement said.

It was Tsai's first visit to Belize since she took office in May 2016.

She also visited the ROC embassy on her first day there.

On Saturday, Tsai will meet with Belize Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow and make a speech at the country's National Assembly.

She will also have lunch with leaders of Taiwanese expatriate groups in Belize before witnessing a computer donation by Taiwan-based PC brand Asustek Computer Inc. to local schools.

Tsai's delegation is scheduled to leave Belize on Saturday for Houston, where she will make a 27-hour stopover before returning to Taiwan.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Joseph Yeh and Frances Huang)
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