PM Harris speaks after receiving 19-Gun Military Salute in Taiwan

Your Excellency President Tsai Ing-wen; Vice President Chen Chien-jen; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. the Honourable Joseph Wu; other Ministers of Government; members of the St. Kitts and Nevis delegation; Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, Your Excellency Tom Lee; Resident Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Your Excellency Jasmine Huggins; other Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps and; ladies and gentlemen.

There is a famous Chinese proverb about friendship that says, “A bosom friend afar brings distant lands near.”

I submit that this piece of ancient wisdom passed down over generations is borne out in the special relationship between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Ours is a diplomatic partnership that has spanned over 35 years and keeps growing stronger as we promote shared fundamental values, such as democracy, good governance, human rights and the rule of law.

Indeed, our two countries may be far apart geographically, but importantly we align very closely on meaningful issues. Through cultural, educational and scientific exchanges, as well as other impactful programmes, our countries have built an enduring legacy of cooperation that defies distance and embraces solidarity. As a result, a sense of like-mindedness and mutual understanding permeates our longstanding relationship.

I take this opportunity to reaffirm St. Kitts and Nevis’ highest esteem and support for your country, which is a true and abiding friend to us. The Government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) can count on St. Kitts and Nevis to bolster Taiwan’s effort to secure membership to international organizations and satisfy the aspirations of its people to contribute more to global solutions in meeting the challenges of development, peace and security. Taiwan has so much to share with the international community, so it is therefore incumbent on the international community to welcome you and your tremendous potential for good.

During our time here, we look forward to solidifying our strong bond of trust and friendship so that it would continue to redound to both our benefits. Long live our friendship!

On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, I extend sincere gratitude to the Government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the highest respect and regard you have shown us since our arrival.

My delegation and I are delighted and honoured to be here in your Beautiful Island whose sheer charm is accentuated by your exemplary hospitality and meticulous attention to ensuring that we feel right at home in Taiwan.

My highest commendations also go to everyone who has played some role in contributing to the splendour of today’s military salute – from the members of the artillery company and military band who respectively fired the ceremonial shots and played the salute music with skillful synchronization and dexterity, to the impressively agile honour guard members who proudly represented Taiwan’s superb military might and training, I thank all of you.

It is indeed a pleasure to see again those among the honour guard who came to St. Kitts and Nevis last September to perform in our 35th Independence Parade at Warner Park. The honour guard delegation mesmerized our nation with a truly excellent presentation, and I take this moment to record again our profound appreciation to the Government and people of Taiwan for your continued support.

Thank you.

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