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President invites new Honduran counterpart to visit Taiwan
Central News Agency
2014-01-27 01:56 PM
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Jan. 26 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou has invited Honduran President-elect Juan Orlando Hernandez to visit Taiwan after he takes office, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said Sunday. Ma, who arrived in the Central American country earlier in the day for Hernandez's inauguration on Monday, extended the invitation during a 30-minute discussion with the president-elect, Li said. President Ma also commended Hernandez for his efforts to promote cooperation between Taiwan and Honduras during his tenure as speaker of the National Congress of Honduras, according to Li. Hernandez's 25-year-old daughter Ivonne Maria is currently on a scholarship in Taiwan, studying at the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, Tamkang University, in suburban Taipei. The eldest of the president-elect's four children and a lawyer in her home country, she came to Taiwan on a scholarship in August 2012 for Chinese-language study at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei, before moving on to her current program. Hernandez's son Juan Orlando is also in Taiwan, studying Chinese at Fu Jen at his own expense. President Ma told Hernandez that Taiwanese news media have been keen to interview both students. For his part, Hernandez said he won a scholarship to study in Taiwan after high school but he did not take it up due to family matters. "Therefore, I'm very happy to see my children realize my dream to study in Taiwan," Hernandez told Ma. He further said Honduras has maintained formal diplomatic ties with the Republic of China for 72 years. Based on this longtime partnership, Hernandez said, the two countries should join forces to deal with the many tough challenges facing the global economy. He said Honduras faces challenges on the economic front and in fighting crime, particularly drug trafficking, and he hopes Taiwan will continue to assist his country with those problems. In response, Ma said the ROC Embassy in Honduras and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will discuss with the Honduran government the details of future cooperation projects in those areas. Hernandez visited Taiwan as a member of the National Congress and later as its speaker. He said his wife likes Sun Moon Lake very much and he hopes to visit the ROC again after he takes office. President Ma and his entourage began their current diplomatic tour Jan. 23, visiting two of the ROC's African allies -- Sao Tome and Principe and Burkina Faso -- on the first leg. They are scheduled to return to Taiwan Jan. 30, the eve of the Lunar New Year. (By Kelven Huang and Sofia Wu)
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