BELIZE CITY, Wed. Mar. 9, 2022– The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. John Briceño, traveled with a small delegation this week to Taiwan, where he received the Order of Propitious Clouds from the Taiwanese government and an honorary doctorate from Kun Shan University during his five-day stay in that country.
Prime Minister Briceño departed Belize on Sunday, March 6, along with a delegation that included Hon. Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration; Hon. Jose Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise; Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology; Ambassador Stuart Leslie, Cabinet Secretary; and the Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs. Rossana Briceño, Special Envoy for the Development of Families and Children.
The PM and his delegation were officially welcomed to Taiwan on March 9 with military honors in the plaza in front of the Presidential Office along with the president of the Republic of China Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. There was a 19-gun salute, as well as the playing of the national anthems of both countries, after which a state banquet was held before the conferral of the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon to Hon. Briceño for his role in enhancing ties between Taiwan and its Caribbean ally, Belize.
“This is the first time I have received Prime Minister Briceño since taking office, and it is Prime Minister Briceño’s first visit to Taiwan since he assumed his current position. It is a great pleasure to greet a dear friend from afar with our grandest display of military honors,” said president of the Republic of China Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen during her remarks.
“In recent years, our two nations have worked together very closely in numerous fields. As we welcome Prime Minister Briceño’s visit, we look forward to exchanging opinions on issues of mutual interest, deepening cooperation, and elevating our diplomatic friendship even further,” she added.
During his remarks, Prime Minister Briceño said, “Belize and Taiwan are friends and partners. We enjoy a cordial bilateral relationship, which has grown stronger [for] almost 33 years. Belize has benefited greatly from our diplomatic partnership with Taiwan that is based on the shared values of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.”
Prime Minister Briceño also met with Vice President Lai Ching-te, and the two will head together to Tainan, where Briceño will receive an honorary doctorate from Tainan-based Kun Shan University. Lai and Briceño last met in January during their visit to Honduras for the inauguration of President Xiomara Castro.
This visit is Briceño’s first trip to Taiwan in 16 years and the first time he is visiting the country as Belize’s prime minister, since taking office in November 2020.
Belize and Taiwan established official diplomatic ties in 1989. The delegation is set to return to the country on Saturday, March 12.