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Taiwan president thanks VP for deepening ties with allies

President Tsai welcomes special envoy home with Facebook post

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te exits an airplane after landing in Taiwan. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te exits an airplane after landing in Taiwan. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following Vice President Lai Ching-te’s (賴清德) return from a diplomatic trip to Honduras, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) thanked him and the delegation for “completing the mission.”

Tsai wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday (Jan. 30), “I want to thank VP Lai, Ambassador Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), and everyone in the special envoy, through whose joint effort the three ‘deepening’ missions were completed smoothly. Not only did they deepen the friendship and collaboration between our country and Honduras, they also interacted with officials from many allies and countries that share our beliefs, deepening democratic Taiwan’s participation in international affairs and promoting Taiwan’s visibility.”

She added, “Welcome home, VP Lai! He will now follow the 14+7 quarantine and self-health monitoring program, and members of the special envoy as well as friends from the media will also go into quarantine regulations. Once again, thank you to our partners who sacrificed their Lunar New Year holiday to fight for Taiwan.”

“In the new year, we continue to bring Taiwan forth to the world!” Tsai wrote.

Lai also took to Facebook to share details about his trip, writing that in Castro’s inauguration speech and discussions with various countries’ representatives, she mentioned problems that Honduras needs to address. “I felt deeply how fortunate Taiwan is as a country; Taiwan once faced the problems that draw their concern, but through the joint effort of our people, we have passed the challenges one by one.”

“Now, we have found our footing within the changing tides, and shown the world Taiwan’s democracy and freedom, courage and resilience, beauty and kindness. Armed with the belief that ‘Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping,’ we are teaching the world that Taiwan has the ability to contribute to the world, and is even more willing to make that contribution,” he wrote.

Lai departed from Taiwan on Tuesday (Jan. 25) to attend Castro’s inauguration on Thursday (Jan. 27), stopping at Los Angeles for a layover. On his return trip, he stopped in San Francisco.

Aside from meeting with Castro in Honduras, Lai also spoke with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Belizean Prime Minister John Briceno. During his layovers in the U.S., Lai met with American officials in video conferences, including members of Congress such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Tammy Duckworth, as well as American experts in the fields of medicine, trade, and national security.