Taiwanese and Eastern Caribbean leaders meet in Belize

Three heads of government and a head of state touched down in Belize this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA). The Prime Ministers of St. Lucia, Dr. Kenny Anthony; St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves; and St. Kitts and Nevis, Honorable Timothy Harris, and outgoing President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), His Excellency Ma Ying-jeou, may have arrived separately, but their paths will cross this afternoon and tonight in Belize City. President Ma has arrived in Belize for a two-day state visit, his second, and meetings with the Caribbean and Central American leaders. He was greeted by Belize’s executive leader, Governor-General Sir Colville Young, and a cheering band of his expatriate countrymen this morning at the PGIA, beginning a whirlwind 48 hours in the Jewel. The President spoke at a welcome luncheon this afternoon at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel: Speaking earlier at the welcome ceremony at the airport, President Ma thanked the people of the Caribbean for their encouragement following the February 6 earthquake in the South of Taiwan. He spoke of exchanging views on matters of mutual concern and renewing friendships with Belize, the leaders from the Eastern Caribbean, as well as leaders of the Taiwanese Community in Belize. He stated, quote, “In doing so, my delegation and I can see for ourselves first-hand the outcomes and achievement of our viable diplomacy, further consolidate the partnership and friendship between our respective allies, and meet face-to-face with our diplomats and their families who have made tremendous contributions to our bilateral relations with the Caribbean allies.” End quote. Taiwanese locals Jason Chang and Orin Wu, the latter of whom publishes the Chinese Journal for the community here and in Taiwan, spoke to their excitement and President Ma’s plans while visiting here. This afternoon President Ma will be meeting with Belize’s Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow and the Eastern Caribbean leaders, followed a round table discussion at the Radisson hotel in Belize City. That begins as of news time this evening and we will have coverage of that in Thursday’s newscast. On Thursday morning, the President will conduct a bicycle tour in Belize City; meet with local Taiwanese leaders and visit Altun Ha before departing for Los Angeles. President Ma has been in office since 2008. He was not eligible for re-election due to term limits and his party, the Kuo-min-tang, lost this year’s presidential and legislative elections to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by Tsai Ing-wen, who takes office as Taiwan’s first woman president in May.vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m23s589 vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m24s954 vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m36s141 vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m43s912 vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m54s512 vlcsnap-2016-03-17-13h36m59s245

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