Taipei, Aug. 7 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) welcomed St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves to Taiwan with a full military ceremony Wednesday, one day before he is scheduled to preside over the opening of an embassy in the country.
Speaking at the ceremony to welcome the Vincentian leader, President Tsai praised St. Vincent as one of the strongest supporters of the R.O.C. (Taiwan) in the Caribbean since the two countries established official ties in 1981.
Tsai thanked Gonsalves for visiting Taiwan, less than a month after she was in the Caribbean country as part of a 12-day-state visit that included the nation's four diplomatic allies in the region.
Tsai said the most important event during Gonsalve's week-long visit is the opening of St. Vincent's embassy in Taiwan, which will serve as a new milestone in bilateral relations and further boost two-way exchanges.
Gonsalves praised Taiwan as a great country under the leadership of Tsai. As a female political leader, Tsai's recent visit to his country served as a model and inspiration for all women in St. Vincent to look up to, he noted.
The St. Vincent leader said he has appointed retired career educator Andrea Bowman his country's first ambassador to Taiwan, whom he said would work well with the R.O.C government and its people during her tenure.
The Caribbean country is currently the only ally among the 17 countries that have formal ties with Taiwan that does not have an embassy in the nation.
In addition to opening the embassy on Thursday morning in the diplomatic quarter of suburban Tienmu, where the embassies of most of the country's diplomatic allies are located, the prime minister will also visit a number of public and private organizations in the Taipei metropolitan area and Tainan City.
He will also meet with Vincentian students to get a better understanding of their lives and studies in Taiwan during his stay, which will last until next Monday, according to Taiwan's foreign ministry.