Belize prime minister arrives for 5-day visit

03/08/2022 10:49 AM
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Belize Prime Minister John Briceño (left) is greeted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu when he arrives in Taiwan for a 5-day visit on Tuesday. CNA photo March 8, 2022.
Belize Prime Minister John Briceño (left) is greeted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu when he arrives in Taiwan for a 5-day visit on Tuesday. CNA photo March 8, 2022.

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) An eight-member delegation from Belize led by Prime Minister John Briceño arrived in Taiwan early Tuesday morning to kick off a five-day visit.

Briceño and his delegation were greeted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) before they took tests for COVID-19 and left the airport.

The Belize prime minister waved to reporters but did not make any comments after getting off EVA Airways' flight BR-25 from Seattle at 4:51 a.m.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will welcome Briceño and his delegation with a military salute and then confer on the prime minister the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon for his role in enhancing ties between Taiwan and its Caribbean ally.

The civilian order can be conferred on citizens or foreign nationals.

MOFA said Tsai and Briceño will exchange views on bilateral cooperation and other shared concerns between Taiwan and Belize.

Briceño is making his first trip to Taiwan in 16 years, and it is his first visit to the country as prime minister, a post he took up in November 2020.

Briceño will also meet with Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), and the two will head together to Tainan, where Briceño will receive an honorary doctorate from Tainan-based Kun Shan University, the MOFA said.

Other events planned for Briceño during his stay include attending a Taiwan-Belize investment and trade cooperation conference, meeting with students from Belize who are studying in Taiwan, and visiting the International Cooperation and Development Fund, MOFA said.

Taiwan and Belize have forged close ties in several areas, including on infrastructure, public health, agriculture, education, and women's empowerment, MOFA said.

Belize is one of the 14 diplomatic allies Taiwan has around the world. The two countries have maintained official diplomatic ties since 1989.

(By Wu Jui-chi, Joseph Yeh and Frances Huang)

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