President proposes establishment of committee to promote Paraguay ties
CNAASUNCION, Paraguay -- President Ma Ying-jeou proposed Wednesday that a “mutual assistance committee” be set up to promote bilateral cooperation programs between Taiwan and Paraguay — the country's only diplomatic ally in South America.
August 16, 2013, 11:56 am TWN
Ma is in Paraguay to attend the Aug. 15 inauguration of President-elect Horacio Cartes. He unveiled the idea while addressing a luncheon with a group of Taiwanese expatriates that took place following meetings with Cartes and outgoing President Federico Franco.
Cartes noted during his meeting with Ma that the Republic of China has never stopped helping Paraguay over the past 56 years since the two countries established diplomatic ties.
The president-elect suggested that the two countries work to develop a relationship in which Paraguay will be able to reciprocate, not just accept help, according to Ma.
Ma said this goal can be achieved through the establishment of a mutual assistance committee that could explore possible areas for cooperation.
For example, he said, Paraguay is rich in natural resources and agricultural products such as beef, wheat and soybeans, and Taiwan is considering importing more of these products.
Ma pointed out that since he assumed office in 2008, he has adopted a flexible approach to diplomacy while working to improve Taiwan's relations with mainland China.
Such efforts have produced substantive results, with Taiwan's relations with its 23 allies continuing to strengthen, he said. There has also been significant progress with regard to Taiwan's bids to participate in international organizations, he added.
'Highest level ever' of US Courtesy: Ma
Speaking of his transit stop in New York earlier this week, Ma said it was his first visit to the U.S. city since becoming president and that the courtesy provided to him by the U.S. government also reached its “highest level ever” over the past five years.
While in New York, Ma said, he went to the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum and his alma mater, New York University.
He also became the first ROC president to visit the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) of New York, which represents Chinese Americans living in the Greater New York metropolitan area.
During the visit, a street was sealed off for lion and dragon dances as part of a welcoming ceremony, which has not happened during his previous stopovers in the United States, Ma said.