At noon on June 8 President Tsai Ing-wen hosted a state banquet for a delegation led by King Mswati III and Inkhosikati of the Kingdom of Eswatini.
In her remarks, President Tsai stated that on September 6 this year Taiwan and Eswatini will officially celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations. This year also marks the 50th birthday of King Mswati III, and the 50th anniversary of Eswatini's independence. So during this very special year, she said, she was delighted that she and the king were able to exchange reciprocal visits. Then on behalf of the people of Taiwan, the president once again welcomed the king and his delegation.
The president pointed out that during our 50-year relationship, government officials and citizens from Taiwan and Eswatini have interacted often, and King Mswati III is a good example. As this was his 17th visit, he knows Taiwan well, and the president said she believes that for the king, we are more than just an international ally, and he has many fond memories of Taiwan.
President Tsai stated that we sincerely hope the mutual bonds between Taiwan and Eswatini will continue to grow stronger. Back in April when she was in Eswatini, the president recalled, she visited Taiwanese who work directly with the local people. During those visits, she also saw 10 medical interns who graduated from a medical program here in Taiwan. After graduation, those interns went back to their hometowns to contribute what they learned, and they now have great expectations that more of their younger classmates will follow in their footsteps.
There are now over 250 students from Eswatini studying in Taiwan, the president said. They're learning and growing up together with Taiwan's younger generation, and will become important human resources for Eswatini's future. She then specially congratulated Prince Buhlebenkhosi Dlamini, who was going to graduate from Taiwan's Shih Chien University the next day, when the king will also receive an honorary doctorate in Management.
The president mentioned that Prince Buhlebenkhosi Dlamini made a short film to share his life and experiences in Taiwan, and plans to stay in Taiwan for graduate school and an internship. We'll continue to strengthen our educational cooperation with Eswatini, she said, so we hope more students like the prince come to Taiwan and promote exchanges between young people, further mutual understanding, and build a firm foundation for our diplomatic friendship.
In closing, the president once again thanked King Mswati III for his unstinting support for Taiwan, and asked the guests on hand to join her in toasting the enduring partnership and future prosperity of both countries.
King Mswati III then delivered remarks, thanking the Republic of China government for its warm hospitality, which makes him feel at home every time he comes to Taiwan. The king then stated that he's very happy that President Tsai visited Eswatini for the country's double celebrations, which is why he returned the honor by accepting her invitation to visit Taiwan. The king added that bilateral relations will continue to blossom in the years to come.
The king praised the president's contributions to promoting Taiwan's economic, social, and political development. During his current trip, he said, he had a chance to see the various policy achievements of President Tsai's administration since she took office. These policies are geared towards addressing society's challenges and have been well received by the people of Taiwan. It is unfortunate, he said, that the world is unable to benefit from this experience because Taiwan is operating from outside the United Nations.
King Mswati III then said he looks forward to a time where Taiwan will share its knowledge and expertise in a variety of sectors with the international community such as agriculture, health, ICT, and education, to name but a few. He emphasized that the Kingdom of Eswatini will always advocate for the inclusion of Taiwan to contribute to the global community. The activities of yesterday and today are a clear testimony that the two countries are determined to work together for mutual benefit, he said.
The king specially thanked President Tsai and the government and people of Taiwan for the numerous forms of support extended to Eswatini over the years. He applauded Taiwan's education system which not only is based on theory, but provides practical training that becomes helpful one day in return to develop Eswatini. The king also expressed hope that Taiwanese companies will invest in his country to increase bilateral cooperation and exchanges in economics and trade, and that Taiwan will continue to provide medical assistance.