The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to express appreciation Aug. 3 for sympathy messages received from Taiwan’s allies and like-minded partners following the passing of Lee Teng-hui, the country’s first democratically elected president.
According to the MOFA, more than 500 leaders, officials, lawmakers, political figures, academics and experts from 63 countries, territories and organizations offered their condolences between July 30, the day of Lee’s passing, and Aug. 3. Messages poured in via letters, phone calls, official statements, social media posts and in-person eulogies during the memorial service at Taipei Guest House.
Paying respects to the late president during the service Aug. 3, Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu said Lee played a pivotal role in establishing Taiwan’s democratic system and furthering the country’s diplomatic affairs. Thanks to his tireless efforts, Taiwan is building stronger relationships with an ever-growing number of countries and territories committed to upholding freedom, democracy and human rights, he added.
Echoing his remarks, American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen praised Lee as a champion of freedom. He helped shape Taiwan into a beacon of democracy and his courage and vision will be long remembered, Christensen said, adding that the U.S. will honor Lee’s legacy by continuing to strengthen the two sides’ relationship through shared democratic values.
Japan Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori also visited Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative in Japan to pay respects, the MOFA said.
Among the high-profile leaders and political figures who expressed condolences were Marshall Islands President David Kabua; Nauru President Lionel Aingimea; St. Vincent and the Grenadines Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce Sir Louis Straker; former Denmark Prime Minister and former North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; former Dominican Republic President Hipolito Mejia Dominguez; and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage.
Political figures, lawmakers, and members of media outlets and think tanks from other like-minded countries and organizations also sent their respects, including those from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Uruguay, Venezuela, South Africa, South Korea, the Philippines, the U.K., the EU and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. (YCH-E)
Write to Taiwan Today at firstname.lastname@example.org