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June 24, 2017

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President hopeful for more trade cooperation with Belize

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) underscored Wednesday the importance she attaches to Taiwan-Belize relations and expressed hope that the two nations can seek increased trade and economic cooperation in the future.

Tsai spelled out her expectations during a meeting with new Belize Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Diane Haylock, who presented her credentials to the president that day.

In the meeting, Tsai praised Belize for its participation in Central American and Caribbean forums, its calls for cooperation among island-states in tackling problems caused by climate change, and its concern about issues related to freedom and democracy, peace and stability, and prosperity and development.

Those are "the mainstream values Taiwan and Belize share with each other," and "the cornerstones of the friendship between the two countries," Tsai said.

Haylock was president of Belize's National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) for many years, and worked with Taiwan on the promotion of an art-teaching program for Belize students during her service at NICH, Tsai noted.

The president welcomed Haylock as the Central American country's new ambassador to Taiwan, and said she expects bilateral interaction and cooperation to become deeper and more diversified in the future.

Belize is one of the 22 countries with which Taiwan maintains diplomatic ties.

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) expressed hope Wednesday that Taiwan will continue to expand and strengthen its cooperation with Pacific Island countries.

Vice President Wants Deeper Ties with Pacific Island Nations

Chen made the remark at the Presidential Office during a meeting with a delegation of participants in the Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan (PILP), an initiative designed for individuals from the Pacific Islands who have a deep interest in leadership training and promoting peace and prosperity in the region.

Taiwan and the Pacific Island countries share such universal values as democracy, freedom and human rights, and are all concerned about issues such as climate change, economic development, environmental protection and regional security, Chen said.

Noting that Taiwan is an important partner of these countries in their development, the vice president also said that it provides scholarships to young people in the region seeking to study in Taiwan, through international organizations such as the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Taiwan maintains close cooperative relations with countries in the region in the areas of medicine and health, fishery, vocational training, food security, clean energy and cultural exchanges, Chen went on, adding that it also wants to share its development experience.

The vice president also noted that the PILP program was launched in 2013 with the aim of training 125 young people with good leadership development potential in five years, and 96 young leaders have since then completed the training.

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