TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President of Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez arrived in Taipei Sunday for his first state visit after being sworn into office in mid-August. He said during a welcoming ceremony that the South American nation remains committed to the diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
On Monday morning, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) welcomed the Paraguayan delegation with a military salute at the plaza of the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, where many tourists gathered outside the seal line, casting their curious eyes over this rarely seen event.
Paraguay is one of the 17 nations that still recognize Taiwan rather than China, and the only one located in South America. Having established diplomatic ties with Taiwan for more than six decades, the Paraguayan president, who warmly received President Tsai for his inauguration months ago, expressed hope that his trip will strengthen bilateral relations of the two governments, and enhance dialogue and consensus that will benefit the development of the two nations.
Echoing his earlier remarks at the United Nations General Assembly last month in New York, President Abdo said his government will continue to support Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. “The Republic of Paraguay is a nation loyal to its ally,” said President Abdo, underlining the importance of cooperation between Taiwan and Paraguay in the political sphere.
The Paraguayan delegation is visiting Taiwan from Oct. 7 to Oct. 11, and will join representatives from Taiwan’s other allies and friendly nations to take part in the National Day celebration on Wednesday.
During her short remarks, President Tsai promised to expand collaboration with the South American ally in such areas as public health, infrastructure, trade, and investment. She encouraged Taiwanese enterprises to consider investing in Paraguay. “So that our two nations will not only be allies, but also become business partners.”
Attracting investment is part of the reason why President Abdo, accompanied by several top officials under his administration, came to Taiwan.
According to Taiwan’s foreign ministry, he will host an event introducing Paraguay’s business environment and opportunities to representatives of Taiwanese enterprises in the coming days. “Paraguay has become a hub for investment and development, and hence we sincerely invite Taiwan to take part,” said President Abdo.
The military salute was followed by a bilateral meeting between President Tsai and her Paraguayan counterpart, as well as the signing of a communiqué. President Tsai will also host a state banquet in the evening for the delegation, during which she will confer a medal upon President Abdo in recognition of his contributions to the Taiwan-Paraguay relations, said the foreign ministry.
► President Tsai Ing-wen and her Paraguayan counterpart Mario Abdo Benítez sign a communiqué after a bilateral meeting on Oct. 8 (Source: CNA)