Taipei, April 16 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen conferred the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon on St. Christopher and Nevis (SKN) Prime Minister Timothy Harris on Tuesday, for his contributions in promoting relations between the two countries.
At a ceremony at the Presidential Office, which included a 19-gun salute and a guard of honor, Tsai praised Harris as an outstanding politician.
She said the Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon medal represented her gratitude for Harris' contribution in promoting relations between the two countries and her expectations of stronger bilateral cooperation in the future.
Tsai said a delegation of Taiwanese businesspeople and a technical mission will visit SKN this year, with the goal of opening up more opportunities for trade and investment in the Caribbean country.
Tsai also expressed her appreciation for Harris' efforts to advocate for Taiwan's participation in major international organizations and to help Taiwan expand its international space.
In turn, Harris said Taiwan and SKN have a special friendship that is solid and close, and they both share values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.
The friendship between the two countries has grown stronger over their 36 years of diplomatic relations, he said.
Although SKN and Taiwan are geographically far apart, they have been cooperating closely on cultural, educational and scientific projects, transcending distance and bringing SKN to stand in solidarity with Taiwan, Harris said.
The people of his country were deeply impressed with the Taiwanese military honor guard that participated in SKN's independence day celebrations last year.
It was a performance that demonstrated Taiwan's military strength and achievements, Harris said.
On behalf of his country, he said, he wished to express the highest respect for Tsai's leadership.
The award ceremony was attended by Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, SKN Ambassador to Taiwan Jasmine Huggins, and Nicaragua Ambassador to Taiwan William Manuel Tapia Aleman.
The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon is usually conferred on Taiwan civil servants in recognition of extraordinary contributions, or to foreign officials and civilians whose actions have contributed to Taiwan's development.