Taiwan President Tsai to review projects during Africa trip

China | 17 Apr 2018 3:44 pm

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen left today for a four-day, three-night visit to Swaziland, her first trip to Africa since assuming office in May 2016.

When Tsai's charter flight took off, Hsinchu Air Base scrambled four Mirage 2000 fighters to escort it for about 20 minutes from Taoyuan to Hengchun, Pingtung County.

Tsai said over the in-flight broadcast system that once in Swaziland she will review the results of several cooperation projects and encourage Taiwanese expatriates and businesses in the African country.

Tsai is on a nonstop flight to Swaziland and is expected to arrive in the southern African kingdom at around 3:30 p.m. local time today, CNA reports.

Later in the evening, Tsai will hold talks with King Mswati III and sign a joint communique before attending a state dinner hosted by the king.

On Thursday, Tsai will attend a celebration marking 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the Swazi king's 50th birthday, as well as the 50th anniversary of Swaziland's independence.

She will present Swaziland with gifts from one of Taiwan's indigenous tribes, as well as five cows, which represent wealth in the southern African kingdom and are a traditional ceremonial gift.

During her stay in Swaziland, the president and her delegation will also meet with local officials and inspect many of the medical, agricultural and educational initiatives that Taiwan has undertaken there.

There will also be meetings with members of the overseas Taiwanese community and business people in southern Africa.

On the last day of the visit, Tsai will host a press reception before having lunch with the Swazi king, after which they will go on a safari together before she leaves on her return trip to Taiwan. Tsai is expected to arrive home at around noon Saturday. 

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