On the morning of August 16 (evening of August 16, Taipei time), Vice President Chen Chien-jen and his wife proceeded to the Congress of the Dominican Republic to attend the inauguration of the Dominican Republic president and vice president. Escorted by a congressional protocol official, Vice President and Mrs. Chen received military honors as they walked toward the Palace of Congress, then entered the office of the Senate President for a brief rest and a chance to exchange greetings with heads of state and special emissaries from other countries attending the ceremony. Prior to commencement of the ceremony, they entered the congressional chamber.
A number of the delegations at the ceremony were led by heads of state, including President Juan Carlos Varela of Panama, President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, President Juan Orlando Hernandez of Honduras, President Jocelerme Privert of Haiti, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, President Evo Morales of Bolivia, President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica, Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Ben Whiteman of Curacao, Prime Minister William Marlin of Sint Maarten, and former King Juan Carlos of Spain. In addition, the vice presidents of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Argentina were also on hand, along with special emissaries from various countries and representatives of international organizations. In all, 28 delegations were present.
After the conclusion of the inaugural address, Vice President Chen and the leaders of the other congratulatory delegations took turns extending best wishes to the newly inaugurated President Danilo Medina and Vice President Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez. Vice President Chen also posed for a photo with President Medina and First Lady Candida Montilla de Medina.
Then Vice President Chen—accompanied by National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Javier Ching-shan Hou (侯清山), and Republic of China Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Valentino Tang (湯繼仁) and Mrs. Tang—proceeded to the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor to attend a mass to celebrate the inauguration of the president and vice president. Vice President Chen was seated in the first row reserved for heads of state. During the solemn ceremony, Archbishop Luigi Bianco offered a prayer for the well-being of Taiwan and Vice President Chen.
In keeping with a long-standing tradition in the Dominican Republic, the members of Taiwan's congratulatory delegation attended the mass in white suits, which Vice President Chen said was a very new and interesting experience for him. The practice of wearing white suits at presidential inauguration ceremonies dates back to 1973, when former President Joaquin Balaguer issued an executive order requiring the wearing of white suits in the summer and black in the winter. This executive order remains in force to this day, and has given rise to a distinctive tradition in the Dominican Republic.