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Taiwan VP Lai calls Paraguay trip a success

Lai Ching-te says visit bolsters bilateral ties

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te returned from Paraguay on August 18.

Taiwan Vice President Lai Ching-te returned from Paraguay on August 18. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Fresh from his trip to Paraguay, Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) praised his visit as having strengthened bilateral ties and bolstered future cooperation between the two nations.

Lai flew to the South American nation to attend President Santiago Pena’s inauguration on Tuesday (Aug. 15).

Speaking at a press conference early Friday morning (Aug. 18), Lai said he conveyed President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) well wishes and hoped for a successful tenure for President Pena.

Lai revealed that during meetings with Pena, the president said the friendship between Taiwan and Paraguay is based on shared values of democracy, freedom, and human rights. The president also expressed unwavering support for bilateral ties and looked forward to deepening cooperation between governments and the private sector.

Lai highlighted the establishment of the Taiwan-Paraguay Technological University, Taiwan's support for over 200 public Paraguay medical institutions, and collaborative initiatives in sectors such as electric vehicles, food processing, and textiles, have brought the two nations closer together. These initiatives are still in preliminary stages, he said, adding that Taiwan Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) is set to visit Paraguay for further talks.

Lai noted that Pena reiterated the shared democratic, freedom, and human rights values between Taiwan and Paraguay, and vowed to continue efforts to promote collaboration and exchanges with Taiwan.

The vice president thanked Taiwanese around the world for raising the nation’s international profile and reiterated that Taiwan holds substantial importance in the eyes of the international community.

During Pena’s inauguration, Lai rubbed shoulders with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Spanish King Felipe VI, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Halaan. Lai left Paraguay on Wednesday (Aug. 16).

His trip included pitstops in New York and San Francisco to meet with local Taiwanese communities, which drew ire from China.

Paraguay is Taiwan’s sole diplomatic ally in South America. The two countries established diplomatic ties in 1957.