On the morning of June 8, President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed King Mswati III and Queen of the Kingdom of Eswatini with full military honors. The president thanked Eswatini for continuing to speak up to support Taiwan's international participation. She also expressed hope that through cooperation and trade, the two countries will continue to promote mutual assistance for mutual benefits and strengthen the bilateral partnership.
The military honors ceremony began at 10 a.m. in the plaza fronting the Presidential Office Building. Following a 21-gun salute, the playing of the two countries' national anthems and a military review, President Tsai and King Mswati III delivered remarks.
On behalf of the people of Taiwan, President Tsai first welcomed King Mswati III on his 17th state visit leading a delegation to Taiwan. The president mentioned that she was just in the Kingdom of Eswatini for a state visit this past April. During that visit, she said, the Taiwan delegation was received with the utmost courtesy, which speaks to how much the king values friendly diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The president noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Eswatini, the 50th anniversary of Eswatini's independence, and the 50th birthday of King Mswati III. Through mutual trust and mutual assistance, she said, over the past 50 years the two countries have developed a long-term cooperative relationship, promoting medical care, agriculture, and education and training programs.
President Tsai further mentioned that when it's time to speak up to support Taiwan's international participation, Eswatini is always by our side. At both the UN General Assembly last September and the World Health Assembly last month, our loyal friends from Eswatini took a stand and spoke up for Taiwan's due rights. So on Taiwan's behalf, the president expressed her sincere thanks to King Mswati III.
President Tsai stated that at the half-century mark of the bilateral friendship, she was very pleased King Mswati III accepted her invitation to visit Taiwan so that they could witness this milestone in the bilateral relationship together. She also expressed hope that through cooperation and trade, Taiwan and Eswatini will continue to promote mutual assistance for mutual benefits and strengthen the bilateral partnership.
In closing, the president once again welcomed the king and all the guests from afar, and also expressed hope for the enduring partnership and the continued prosperity of both countries.
After the conclusion of President Tsai's remarks, King Mswati III then delivered remarks of his own. He started by thanking President Tsai and the people of Taiwan for the warm and generous reception extended to him and his entire delegation. He said that Taiwan has arranged an excellent, extensive, and informative program for their stay. The king specially mentioned that his delegation was invited to visit the annual Han Kuang Exercises, serving as another example of how close the two nations have become. He also said that he was impressed by the high standard of the military drill displayed by Taiwan's armed forces.
King Mswati III stated that he was glad to host President Tsai and her delegation in Eswatini this past April during the country's double celebrations, which also marked the 50th anniversary of the friendship between Taiwan and Eswatini. He said that the president's presence gave Eswatini added encouragement and momentum while strengthening its friendship with Taiwan. He emphasized that the strong foundation of the bilateral relationship was established by their predecessors on both sides. The future tasks for both heads of state are to benefit the people of the two countries, who are looking to them to strengthen this friendship so they can also leave a positive legacy for future generations.
King Mswati III expressed hope that Eswatini will be able to cooperate with Taiwan in the fields of finance, energy, mining, investment promotion, and aviation. The bilateral cooperation, he said, has helped promote Eswatini's development in many areas including rural electrification, agriculture, health, academic cooperation and infrastructure, and that these achievements of Taiwan-Eswatini cooperation are the result of friendly bilateral relations. He also emphasized that Eswatini is very supportive of Taiwan's New Southbound Policy and looks forward to taking part in this people-centered initiative.
In closing, King Mswati III reiterated the commitment of the Kingdom of Eswatini to supporting Taiwan's participation in international affairs, including the United Nations and its specialized agencies. He then said that he hopes to see that Taiwan fully participates in international organizations to share its experience and knowledge on issues that affect mankind.