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President Tsai concludes diplomatic mission, returns to Taiwan

President Tsai concludes diplomatic mission, returns to Taiwan
President Tsai Ing-wen returned to Taiwan on the afternoon of July 2, concluding her diplomatic mission to Panama and Paraguay. Upon arriving at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the president issued a public statement, explaining the achievements and benefits of the trip, and emphasizing that the government will continue its efforts to bring Taiwan closer to the world.

In remarks, the president said that the nine-day, eight-night mission of "steadfast diplomacy based on building mutually beneficial relationships" had formally come to an end. As the trip delegation departed last week, she recalled, she had stated: "I depart with high hopes, and intend to return home with much to show."

The president noted that during the course of the trip, she held bilateral talks with seven presidents and vice presidents from Taiwan's diplomatic allies, and exchanged ideas with over 20 US Congress members and political leaders. She thanked Panama President Juan Carlos Varela for his invitation, which allowed Taiwan to participate in the inauguration ceremony for the Panama Canal Expansion and stand together on stage with politicians and dignitaries from many countries, in front of a global audience. And during discussions in Paraguay, she and President Horacio Cartes both concluded that our markets and resources are complementary, and that going forward we can pursue the path of mutual benefit and assistance to enhance mutual cooperation.

The president then said the most important thing for the delegation on this trip was to put the steadfast diplomacy concept into practice. Steadfast diplomacy, she said, is an attitude, hoping to take a steadfast approach, see things with your own eyes, and experience them for yourself, and then using your cumulative experiences to achieve breakthroughs in actual diplomatic situations. It means hoping to share Taiwan's values and technologies with our international friends, and making an effort to contribute to global prosperity and peace. At the same time, bilateral exchanges are a process of mutual learning that allow all of our diplomats and colleagues stationed overseas to continue to better themselves, and prepare to meet the next challenge. In addition, this administration is putting more emphasis on cooperation. We thus hope that going forward, rather than a series of one-sided investments, aid consists of mutually planned, cooperative projects with open, transparent cost structures, jointly created after thorough discussions between the two sides. The president firmly believes that, going forward, steadfast diplomacy is the best strategy for handling Taiwan's diplomatic affairs, and that our foreign policy will uphold the principle of mutual benefit and assistance. Bringing Taiwan closer to the world is the government's unwavering direction, and we will continue to work towards that end.

The president said that during her diplomatic mission abroad, domestic challenges never ceased, and although she was out of the country, Taiwan was always on her mind. She thus offered her sincere condolences to the family of Huang Wen-chung (黃文忠), captain of the Hsiang Li Sheng fishing boat that was struck by a missile accidentally fired by a naval patrol vessel. She felt that Mrs. Huang, the captain's wife, was right: Something like this should never have happened. The president then promised the people of Taiwan that the government will follow up, and handle the relevant issues with the utmost sense of responsibility.

The president also emphasized that for any head of government, there is no lag time. When the tasks of an overseas mission end, other tasks begin. And she believes there are many important issues that await her.

The president closed her remarks by once again expressing her gratitude for the efforts of all the members of the trip delegation.

Among those on hand to greet President Tsai upon her arrival back in Taiwan at the airport were Secretary-General to the President Lin Bih-jaw (林碧炤), National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chen Chun-lin (陳俊麟), Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung (吳志中), Overseas Community Affairs Council Vice Minister Tien Chiu-Chin (田秋堇), Republic of Nauru Ambassador to the ROC Ludwig Dowong Keke, and First Secretary Estanislao Lezcano of the Embassy of Paraguay.