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Lai pledges to continue on democratic path in reception remarks

05/19/2024 08:21 PM
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President-elect Lai Ching-te (center), Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (left) and outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (right). CNA photo May 19, 2024
President-elect Lai Ching-te (center), Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (left) and outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (right). CNA photo May 19, 2024

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) pledged Sunday at a reception for guests attending his inauguration to continue to lead the country down "the path of democracy" based on the foundation laid by outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

In his remarks at the reception for hundreds of guests from Taiwan and abroad a day before his inauguration, Lai expressed gratitude to foreign dignitaries who came from around the world for the event.

President-elect Lai Ching-te addresses guests at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
President-elect Lai Ching-te addresses guests at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim takes a picture with foreign dignitaries at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim takes a picture with foreign dignitaries at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024

"Tomorrow's peaceful transfer of power is a milestone for Taiwan's democracy," he said via an interpreter.

Lai, who has been vice president the past four years, said Taiwan has gone through dictatorship and transformed into a vibrant democracy over the past few decades.

That transition has not only happened because of the efforts made by Taiwanese but also due to the long-term support from friends around the world, for which he expressed his deep gratitude, Lai said.

He pledged to work hand in hand with Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) to build upon the foundation created by Tsai over the past eight years during his incoming presidency.

"Together we will continue to walk on the path of democracy and continue to engage with the world to make Taiwan stronger," he said.

The incoming leader also pledged to continue to defend Taiwan's democracy, make Taiwan's economy more prosperous and vibrant, and continue to play a key role in maintaining stability in the region.

Together with Hsiao and outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Lai then raised his glass to toast to guests attending the event, before leaving the reception held at the Taipei Guest House.

Outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (second left) greets a guests at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (second left) greets a guests at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) shakes hands with Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, head of the India Taipei Association, at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Outgoing Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (left) shakes hands with Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, head of the India Taipei Association, at a reception in the Taipei Guest House on Sunday. CNA photo May 19, 2024

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), more than 500 guests attended Sunday's reception.

MOFA has said that a total of 51 groups comprising 508 foreign dignitaries will attend the inauguration ceremony and related activities on May 20.

Among them, 12 groups are from countries with which the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan's formal name, has diplomatic relations, MOFA said.

The Holy See, Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe, is sending Archbishop Charles John Brown, the apostolic nuncio to the Philippines, to attend Lai's inauguration, as a special envoy of Pope Francis, it said.

Former Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė was also among the guests, MOFA said.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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