PM Harris to attend Taiwan’s president inauguration

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris and a delegation are expected to attend the May 20 inauguration of Taiwan’s first female president. Tsai Ing-wen was elected as Taiwan’s president on Jan. 16, 2016.

Taiwan’s current leader, President Ma Ying-jeou, was elected on March 22, 2008 and inaugurated on May 20, 2008. He was re-elected on Jan. 14, 2012 to a second four-year term in office and inaugurated on May 20, 2012.

Just two months ago, Prime Minister Harris was one of four Caribbean prime ministers who met with President Ma Ying-jeou in Belize on March 16. Belize’s Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves also participated in that meeting.

The prime ministers commended the president for his many contributions while in public service, particularly as they relate to the strengthening of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and their respective governments and citizenry.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to Belize formed part of his final overseas trip to hold high-level meetings with government heads of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in Central America and the Eastern Caribbean. Taiwan and Belize established diplomatic relations on Oct. 11, 1989.

On March 14, 2016, President Ma Ying-jeou visited Guatemala, where he met with President Jimmy Morales. The Republic of China and Guatemala established diplomatic ties in 1933.

St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) established diplomatic relations on Sept. 23, 1983. Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines established diplomatic relations on August 15, 1981. St. Lucia held diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan) from 1984 to 1997, then with the People’s Republic of China (more commonly called China) from 1997 to 2007, and again with Taiwan from May 1, 2007 continuing into the present day.

During a bilateral meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou on March 16, 2016, Prime Minister Harris said that he looked forward to the inauguration.

“I look forward to witnessing the inauguration of the first woman president,” Prime Minister Harris told President Ma Ying-jeou, adding that, “You must take some credit for creating an environment in which all women are encouraged.”

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