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Taiwan's President decorated in Belize

President Tsai Ying-wen was decorated by Belize Governor-General Colville Young in a ceremony representing the firm relations between the two countries

President Tsai arriving in Belize

President Tsai arriving in Belize (CNA photo)

BELIZE CITY (CNA) -- President Tsai Ying-wen (蔡英文) was decorated by Belize Governor-General Colville Young on Thursday in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the friendship between Belize and Taiwan.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the Museum of Belize, Tsai said the honor was a symbol of the firm relations between the two countries and served as recognition of the development of their partnership.

For most of the past 30 years, Belize and Taiwan have maintained close cooperation in the infrastructure, agriculture, public health, culture, education and telecommunication spheres, she said, and she hoped the two countries will continue to expand two-way ties based on the existing foundation.

Tsai also thanked Young for his backing of Taiwan's bids to take part in world bodies and urged him to continue supporting Taiwan to enable the two countries to make greater contributions to the world.

Earlier Thursday, Tsai flew into Belize from Paraguay, where she attended the inauguration of Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez in Asuncion on Wednesday.

Tsai was greeted by Young and a military salute at the airport that included a fixed-wing plane and two UH-1 helicopters flying over the ceremony in formation.

The two helicopters were given by Taiwan to Belize in April 2016 for humanitarian assistance and rescue missions, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.

Tsai later had her picture taken outside the front door of Taiwan's embassy, located at "No. 1 Taiwan Street" in Belize City.

The name of the street was changed to include "Taiwan" by the city's former Mayor Darrell Bradley in January in a gesture to highlight the close relationship between the city and Taiwan's embassy.

Tsai also hosted a ceremony to award scholarships provided by the Taiwan government to Belize students.

Noting that more than 200 students from Belize are now serving their country after having graduated from universities in Taiwan, Tsai encouraged the scholarship winners to experience Taiwan's diverse cultures and introduce Belize's culture to Taiwan's people.

Tsai is scheduled to return to Taiwan Aug. 20 after concluding the nine-day visit to Paraguay and Belize -- her fifth overseas visit since assuming office in May 2016.
Belize Governor-General Colville Young and President Tsai Ing-wen (Image from Office of the President)

Updated : 2021-07-28 19:32 GMT+08:00