Belize City, Belize, April 2 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Belize Sunday on a three-day visit that followed a similar trip to Guatemala, on the second leg of her state visit to Taiwan’s two remaining allies in Central America.
On arrival at Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, Tsai and her delegation were welcomed by Belize Governor-General Froyla Tzalam; Amalia Mai, chief executive officer at the Belizean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration; and Taiwan’s ambassador to Belize Lily Hsu (徐儷文).
Tsai was also greeted with military honor guard, before heading to Belize Biltmore Plaza, where she attended a reception with Taiwanese expatriates.
Addressing the group of approximately 300 Taiwanese expats, Tsai thanked them for their “hard work in Belize,” saying those efforts had contributed to the strengthening of ties between the two nations during their 34 years of diplomatic relations.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic had stymied travel around the world over the past two years, Tsai said her last visit to Belize was in 2018 and she was pleased to return there again before the end of her second and final term as president next year.
On Monday, the president is scheduled to meet with Belize Prime Minister John Briceno, witness the signing of a bilateral technical cooperation agreement, deliver a speech at the National Assembly, tour the sites of joint projects between the two allies, and attend banquets hosted by Briceno and Tzalam, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Before Tsai departed Guatemala on Sunday for Belize, she and Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei visited a hospital built with financial assistance from Taiwan.
The Regional Hospital of Chimaltenango, to which Taiwan contributed US$22 million, opened in February to serve patients from six of the 22 administrative departments in Guatemala.
With a capacity of 150 beds and 15 specialties, it provides medical services to about 2 million people in Chimaltenango City and five other administrative departments, according to Tsai.
On the final day of Tsai’s three-day visit to Guatemala, President Giammattei again expressed thanks for her government’s financial support and said Guatemala’s friendship with Taiwan was “unchangeable.”
Guatemala and Belize are now Taiwan’s only two remaining diplomatic allies in Central America, among a total 13 worldwide, after Honduras switched allegiance to China late last month.
Source: Focus Taiwan