There are over twenty-two million five hundred people living on the island of Taiwan. So it was a major event today that the President of that country would make a state visit to Belize. According to the Foreign Minister of Belize, Taiwan has given hundreds of millions in budgetary support and maintaining friendship is necessary for Taiwan. China has a claim on the country and slowly China has been offering dollar diplomacy to countries who supported Taiwan. Taiwan has lost support from Panama and the Dominican Republic and it can’t afford to lose any more friends in the region. Taiwan has continued to support Belize through various initiatives including health, education and agriculture. So in no small measure is Taiwan a friend, but a needed partner of Belize. Today Love News joined the media throng at the airport for the official welcome of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-Wen.
Jose Sanchez: The Belize Flag and Taiwan’s flag blew strongly in the wind as the countdown began for the state visit from the Republic of China (Taiwan). At 2:30 p.m. a China Airlines landed at the Philip Goldson International Airport. A small delegation walked on the red carpet and waited at the first step to the airline. President Tsai Ing– wen then came down the stairs with her delegation. She was greeted by Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, Attorney General of Belize Michael Peyrefitte, Belize Ambassador to Taiwan, Diane Haylock and Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize Charles Liu. The Governor General escorted President Tsai Ing to a small podium. There was a royal slip by the GG and President Tsai Ing-Wen reached out with a helping hand, symbolizing the nature of the friendship between the two countries. The BDF marching band played the anthem of both countries after which there was a brief inspection of the guard. The BDF Defender and two helicopters flew overhead as canons were fired. The President and the Governor General then joined the delegation on the red carpet for a short walk to where members of the Taiwan-Belize diaspora were waiting.
Voice 1: It’s definitely a one of a kind experience you know especially the President being in front of you and then we are able to handshake and able to; he is just right in front of us. Normally you see people like the president on the TV but today it was right here. I Believe you know it definitely strengthens our ties together especially as countries.
Voice 2: Well it’s always a pleasure to see somebody come from my hometown.
Voice 3: It’s always good to have your leader come to Belize and support and we just want everyone in town to know that although we are in foreign that we care about our country and we still support our home land.
Jose Sanchez: Are you excited?
Voice 3: He speaks only Mandarin so yes. Overall we are just happy and we want to be a support to Belize and also to Taiwan.
Then Sir Colville Young, Minister Wilfred Elrington, the Attorney General, and the ambassadors of both countries joined President Tsai Ing – Wen for a brief meeting inside a room at the airport.
The delegation from both countries headed over to the Radisson Fort George for a scholarship ceremony. Tomorrow President Tsai Ing-Wen will meet parliamentarians at a special sitting of the House of Representatives at 10 a.m.