The Office of the President held a press conference on the morning of August 5 to announce that Vice President Chen Chien-jen will lead a delegation to visit our diplomatic ally the Dominican Republic. The trip will begin on August 13 and conclude on August 20. Presidential Office Spokesperson Huang Chung-yen (黃重諺) opened the press conference, then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Javier Ching-shan Hou (侯清山) presented the planned itinerary.
Deputy Minister Hou said that our Caribbean ally the Dominican Republic held its presidential election on May 15 of this year. Current President Danilo Medina and Vice President Margarita María Cedeño Lizardo successfully won re-election, and will be sworn in on August 16 for another four-year term. President Medina greatly values Taiwan's friendship, so on the heels of his re-election he sent Minister of Foreign Affairs Andres Navarro Garcia to attend the inauguration ceremony of our 14th term president and vice president on May 20. In his meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen, Foreign Minister Garcia personally delivered an invitation from President Medina – the very first extended to a diplomatic ally – to attend his inauguration ceremony. Responding to President Medina's warm gesture, President Tsai appointed Vice President Chen as special envoy to attend the inauguration.
Deputy Minister Hou then added that this overseas trip has been code-named the "Jen-Hsiang Project" (Jen being the third character in the vice president's name, while "Hsiang" means to take flight in Chinese). This signifies that following the "Ing-Hsiang Project" (President Tsai's first overseas diplomatic trip this past June-July), the collective will of our people will once again take flight, this time with Vice President Chen, on a trip of "steadfast diplomacy" to fortify mutually beneficial relations with friendly nations. The delegation for this trip will include the vice president's wife and Deputy Secretary-General to the President Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁).
The delegation will depart Taiwan on the evening of August 13 (Saturday), visit the Dominican Republic and attend the inauguration from August 14 (Sunday) to August 17 (Wednesday), and arrive back in Taiwan on August 20 (Saturday), said Deputy Minister Hou. The trip will last a total of seven days and six nights, with transit stops in the United States on both the outbound and inbound legs.
Deputy Minister Hou also mentioned that, besides attending the inauguration and related events, Vice President and Mrs. Chen will also meet with President Medina, Vice President Cedeño and other officials to discuss issues of common concern and exchange ideas on "steadfast diplomacy". They will also visit bilateral cooperation projects between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic, including: the 911 Emergency System; the Center for Comprehensive Care for the Disabled (Centro de Atencion Integral para la Discapacidad, CAID); a solar power plant financed by Taiwanese firms; and an orchid nursery. Vice President and Mrs. Chen will also meet with Taiwan Scholarship graduates from the Dominican Republic and inspect the outcomes of bilateral cooperation and exchanges. And they will host a dinner banquet for Taiwanese expatriates and diplomatic workers and their families stationed in the Dominican Republic, to let them know that the government cares for them and appreciates the important work they do on the frontlines.
Deputy Minister Hou stressed that the upcoming visit by Vice President and Mrs. Chen will no doubt further deepen the friendship between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic, and will highlight the wonderful results our two countries have achieved together. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will work with all relevant agencies to ensure optimal arrangements for this visit, Deputy Minister Hou assured.