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Belize Prepares to Receive Taiwanese President

For the fourth time since Belize formally established diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (also known as Taiwan) in 1989, that country’s head of state, President Tsai Ing-wen, will be visiting Belize from August 16-18, 2018. The last visit by Taiwan’s president was in 2004 when President Chen Shui-Bian visited Belize.

Belize is one of just 18 countries that has formal diplomatic relations with the Republic of China, a state that is not recognized by the mainland government of the People’s Republic of China based in Beijing. Despite strong opposition, Belize has always cherished its warm ties with Taiwan. Currently, Taiwan is one of the top three largest development partners in Belize.

President Tsai Ing-Wen is Taiwan’s first female head of state. She assumed office in May 2016 for a four-year term. One of Taiwan’s largest projects in Belize is an effort to prevent and reduce the effects of chronic renal failure. It is likely that President Ing-Wen will visit the Taiwanese team during her time in Belize which has trained over 300 community health workers, nine instructors, 17 specialized nurses, and 118 medical officers.

Taiwan has also played an instrumental role in helping Belizean farmers improve sheep and goat livestock. At least 400 people in Belize have signed up for training and breeding information in order to help the country grow its ruminant livestock industry big enough to begin exporting to Mexico and the Caribbean. Taiwan has also financed scholarships for 245 Belizeans to study in Taiwan, 59 of which are currently abroad there for their studies.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) has also been of crucial assistance to several infrastructure projects in Belize. Paving the Southern Highway and upgrading it to a modern thoroughfare was largely financed by Taiwan’s Tourism Development Project which began in 1997. The Tourism Development Program has also financed the upgrading of access roads to important cultural and archeological sites. Taiwan’s Tourism Development Program is currently assisting with the renovation of the Belize City House of Culture (formerly known as Government House) and the revitalization of the historic downtown area of Belize City.

The management and staff of Chabil Mar would also like to extend a warm hand of greeting to President Ing-wen on her visit to Belize. Although it’s not on her official schedule for her upcoming trip to Belize, Chabil Mar sincerely hopes that President Ing-wen will have time to visit the beautiful Placencia Peninsula in the future.

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