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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Lai to express ‘concrete’ goodwill toward China in inauguration speech, source says


Eswatini’s King Mswati III, left, president-elect William Lai, center, and vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, right, fish at the Zhishan Shrimp Fishing Farm in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: AFP

Eswatini’s King Mswati III, left, president-elect William Lai, center, and vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, right, fish at the Zhishan Shrimp Fishing Farm in Taipei yesterday. Photo: AFP

2024/05/20 03:00

SEAFOOD DIPLOMACY: Lai and incoming vice president Hsiao hosted leaders of diplomatic allies in a traditional shrimp-fishing event

By Liu Tzu-hsuan / Staff reporter, with Reuters and CNA

President-elect William Lai (賴清德) would express “concrete” goodwill toward China in his inauguration speech today, and call for both sides of the Taiwan Strait to pursue peace, a senior official briefed on the matter said.

Lai would say that Taiwan will continue to be a promoter of regional peace and stability, the official said.

Lai, 64, is detested by Beijing as a “separatist.”

In his speech, the incoming president would pledge to maintain the “status quo” with China “neither being overbearing nor self-effacing,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He would call for both sides of the Strait to pursue peace and common prosperity, the official added.

Lai would also mention that China has ramped up military and diplomatic pressures on Taiwan.

Last night, Lai told foreign dignitaries at the Taipei Guest House that the inauguration ceremony would be a testament of Taiwan’s solid democracy.

Referring to earlier comments from Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Lai said that tomorrow’s peaceful transfer of power would be a “milestone for Taiwan’s democracy.”

“It is also based on a solid foundation laid by the people of Taiwan over the decades,” Lai said at a party for foreign guests who are visiting for the inauguration.

Thanks to the efforts of Taiwanese and support from foreign friends, the nation has made great progress politically, economically and socially, he said.

He vowed to “continue to walk on the path of democracy and ... continue to engage with the world and make Taiwan stronger,” while calling for the guests’ continued support.

Earlier in the day, Lai and vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) took visiting leaders of diplomatic allies to experience traditional shrimp fishing and enjoy local cuisine in Taipei.

Lai and Hsiao were joined by Eswatini’s King Mswati III, Marshallese President Hilda Heine, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr and Paraguayan President Santiago Pena Palacios at a shrimp pond.

They were also joined by Belizean Prime Minister John Briceno, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Feleti Teo, Saint Kitts and Nevis Deputy Prime Minister Geoffrey Hanley and Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Ramiro Martinez.

King Mswati III and Heine took first and second place respectively for catching the most shrimps, each winning a golden fishing rod.

A source said the shrimping event was the second Lai has hosted since taking office as vice president in May 2020. He hosted a similar outing in 2021 with the Australian, British, Indian, Japanese and US representatives to Taiwan.

The “culturally creative” event was meant to enhance relationships with the nation’s diplomatic allies and friendly nations in a fun way, an unnamed source said.

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

\\192.168.5.8\news\ok_retouch_folder\20240520\p01-240520-outgoing.jpg
From left, vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, president-elect William Lai and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu raise their glasses in a toast to guests at a reception at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei last night.
Photo: Screen grab from the Presidential Office’s Flickr page

\\192.168.5.8\news\ok_retouch_folder\20240520\p01-240520-outgoing.jpg From left, vice president-elect Hsiao Bi-khim, president-elect William Lai and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu raise their glasses in a toast to guests at a reception at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei last night. Photo: Screen grab from the Presidential Office’s Flickr page

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