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Vice President returns from visit to Dominican Republic

Vice President returns from visit to Dominican Republic
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Vice President Chen Chien-jen completed his visit to the Dominican Republic and returned to Taiwan in the early morning hours of August 20, delivering remarks at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to report on successes achieved during his trip.

The following is a translation of the vice president's remarks:

My seven-day, six-night trip to the Dominican Republic has come to a successful conclusion. Acting as the representative of President Tsai Ing-wen, together with my wife, I led a delegation to visit our Caribbean ally the Dominican Republic. There we attended the inauguration of President Danilo Medina and Vice President Margarita Cedeno de Fernandez. This was my first trip overseas since taking office as vice president. Although the trip was short, I nevertheless felt a sense of great responsibility. The main successes of this trip are as follows:

First, I put to action the concept of "steadfast diplomacy," using a new model for diplomacy that focuses on making friends by offering mutual assistance for mutual benefits. During this visit, I met with President Medina and Vice President Margarita Cedeno of the Dominican Republic and President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala for in-depth discussions on matters of shared concern, including Taiwan's concept of steadfast diplomacy. They all voiced a deep appreciation for their decades of friendly diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and said the focus on mutual assistance and benefits is an excellent approach to cooperation. They also said they hope to enhance bilateral friendship by jointly devising projects that will benefit both sides.

Second, I was able to establish friendly personal ties with the heads of state and other political leaders who attended the inauguration. Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, Spain, Ecuador, Mexico, and the Vatican all dispatched delegations led by heads of state or special emissaries to the event. During the inauguration, and during a state banquet and a reception hosted by President Medina, I had opportunities to chat with these heads of state and special emissaries. I spoke with a lot of people, thereby raising the international profile of Taiwan.

Third, while in the Dominican Republic I learned about various investments by Taiwanese companies there, and am happy to report that Taiwanese firms wishing to invest overseas can indeed consider establishing a presence in the Dominican Republic.

While in the Dominican Republic, we visited a 67 megawatt (MW) solar power plant financed by a Taiwanese firm that is an important source of power for the Dominican Republic, providing 6% of the country's total supply. The construction of this solar plant makes the Dominican Republic a clean energy leader in the Central American and Caribbean region. In fact, this is the largest photovoltaic array in the Caribbean.

I also visited a 20-hectare greenhouse orchid nursery that has imported orchid seeds and seedlings from Taiwan as well as Taiwanese orchid cultivation techniques. The nursery turns out high-quality varieties, including the Vanda, Dendrobium, and Cattleya. Marketed throughout the Dominican Republic, these orchids are also very popular in other countries such as Haiti and Costa Rica.

Cases such as these show us that the investment climate in the Dominican Republic has its advantages, and Taiwanese companies would be well advised to consider the possibility of establishing a presence there. I would like to take this opportunity to invite our friends in Taiwan's business and industrial community to travel to Taiwan's diplomatic allies to learn first-hand where our economies are complementary, and to see how we can all share in the benefits of collaboration.

I also want to specially thank the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police for the excellent hospitality we received. I also thank the archbishop and the priests from the Embassy of the Holy See in Santo Domingo for offering a prayer for a lasting alliance between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic, and for the well-being of our peoples.

In the course of this trip, we made transit stops in New York, and the United States accorded us the highest-level reception in every aspect, so I would also like to thank the US government for its arrangements. I especially thank American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond F. Burghardt and AIT Managing Director Joseph R. Donovan for escorting us and seeing to it that we had a full schedule of activities in New York. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the New York City Police Department for helping to maintain security. And I should also mention the monsignor and the priests of St. Patrick's Cathedral, who offered a prayer for a lasting alliance between Taiwan and the United States, and for the well-being of our two peoples.

During this trip, I came in contact with a lot of Taiwanese expatriates. While building successful careers overseas, they remain concerned about the state of affairs in their homeland. I am moved by their love for Taiwan. On behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, I want to convey my sincere gratitude to these expatriates. I also want to thank ROC Representative to the United States Stanley Kao (高碩泰) and his wife, as well as Director-General Lily L. W. Hsu (徐儷文) and everyone on staff at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York, for all their hard work. During our transit stops in New York, they spared no possible effort to ensure a safe, comfortable, convenient, and dignified transit stop.

And finally, I also want to specially thank Secretary-General to the President Lin Bih-jaw (林碧炤) and Mrs. Lin, Deputy Foreign Minister Wu Chih-chung (吳志中) and Mrs. Wu, and all the other distinguished guests who've shown up at this early hour to greet us at the airport. We really appreciate your going to such a special effort. Also, let me thank everyone in the delegation, including National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Tseng Hou-jen (曾厚仁) and Deputy Foreign Minister Javier Ching-shan Hou (侯清山), for working together so smoothly all this time. It is your efforts that made the trip such a big success. And more importantly, it is all the people throughout the Republic of China, each person working hard at his or her job, that have made it possible for the people of the world to see Taiwan and to invest great hopes in our country.

Thank you everyone, and thanks also to the journalists here for coming out at this time of the morning. We really appreciate it. Thank you all.