President Tsai Ing-wen attended a banquet for expatriates at 7:00 p.m. on June 28 Paraguay time (7:00 a.m. June 29 Taipei time) and was warmly embraced by Taiwan's expatriate community.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that in attendance were not only Taiwan expatriates living in Paraguay, but also fellow expatriates who travelled all the way from countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. For Taiwanese, she said, Asuncion is a very special city. If you drew a line from Taiwan through the center of the earth, it would come out in Asuncion, where they had all gathered. So even in a location as far away from Taiwan as you can get, hard-working Taiwanese still have a significant presence. They are all an extension of Taiwan Power, she said, and the efforts of each and every expatriate reflect the remarkable "Taiwan Spirit".
The president said that over the course of many years, Taiwanese have built up an impressive presence in Paraguay. Through their efforts and their tears, she said, they have not only developed businesses for themselves, but also carried their native culture with them. One example is the city of Ciudad del Este, an important hub for Taiwanese entering the Latin American business world, with a large Taiwanese expatriate population. She recalled reading a news article that said Taiwanese culture is pervasive in Ciudad del Este. It even has a "Dihua Street" (迪化街), and the city's shop signs also show a Taiwanese influence. You can also choose from a wide array of Taiwanese snacks and delicacies, so Ciudad del Este is really a very "Taiwanese" city.
The president also mentioned that in our conduct of foreign affairs, we have an important mission, which is to raise Taiwan's visibility, and let the world see who we are. "You all play a role in achieving that goal," the president said to the Taiwan expatriates, thanking them specially for participating in that process and helping Taiwan achieve that goal. But she also noted that it is not enough for the world to see Taiwan. The key is how they see Taiwan. So we are taking an approach that is unwavering and firm in purpose, the president said. We are working hard and making a sincere effort to build relationship and trust step-by-step to prove Taiwan's value. That's "steadfast diplomacy."
The president emphasized that the government will keep pace with the expatriate community's efforts. In the future, Taiwan and Paraguay will jointly promote more, and more comprehensive, exchange programs. In addition to continuing efforts to build affordable housing, close the digital divide, and enhance health information management, both countries will strengthen exchanges in agricultural technology. Whether it's helping develop Paraguay's orchid industry, joint promotion of feed production projects with the National University of Asuncion, pig farming programs, or the pacu fingerling breeding and cultivation project, we will see more agricultural technology partners from Taiwan plugging away in Paraguay.
The president also emphasized that these projects are not simply one-way foreign aid. They are two-way cooperative programs. In terms of technology and practical experience, they are platforms for mutual sharing and support. If these programs run smoothly, Paraguayans will have pacu on their dining tables that were cultivated using Taiwanese technology. And when people in Taiwan eat beef from Paraguay, they will know that meat was produced through the efforts of innumerable agricultural technical missions.
President Tsai then mentioned that her delegation included many representatives from Taiwanese enterprises. So during this trip to Paraguay, she hoped to open up markets in the Americas for Taiwan. She also hoped that more industrialists, based on what they have seen with their own eyes and experienced for themselves, will be able to face new challenges with a "steadfast" attitude.
The president said that Taiwan and Paraguay are friends, and in interactions between friends, the most important thing is to be "mutual". In pursuing common goals, both sides need to be able to work together and provide mutual assistance. This, she said, is what it means to be "friends." And this is not limited to Paraguay. Taiwan has always been ready to engage with countries around the world based on mutual sharing and mutual assistance, and Taiwan can make even greater contributions to the international community. She believes that through the concerted efforts of Taiwan expatriates around the globe, Taiwan will surely carve out a place in this world, a place that simply cannot be ignored.
Also attending the expatriate banquet were Taiwan's National Security Council Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維), Ambassador to Paraguay Alexander Tah-Ray Yui (俞大㵢), Overseas Community Affairs Council Minister Hsin-hsing Wu (吳新興), Legislators Liu Shyh-Fang (劉世芳), Lee Hung-Chun (李鴻鈞), Chen Ying (陳瑩), Chiu Yi-Ying (邱議瑩), Hsu Chih-Chieh (許智傑), Lin Chun-Hsien (林俊憲), and Huang Kuo-Chang (黃國昌), as well as Chinese Association in Asuncion Chairman Hong Zhen-sheng (洪振盛).
Earlier in the day, at 5:30 p.m. on June 28 (5:30 a.m. June 29 Taipei time), President Tsai met representatives from Fo Guang Shan (Buddha's Light International Association) Paraguay Chapter and Taiwan's Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Paraguay Liaison Office. In addition to learning more about the current developmental status and achievements of Taiwan expatriates living in Paraguay, the president and the visitors chatted about everyday affairs in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. President Tsai also expressed her heartfelt gratitude and admiration for expatriates involved in public service in a foreign country like Paraguay for so many years, helping to raise the quality of local medical care and improving educational standards for children, and spreading the power of Taiwanese goodwill throughout the world.