Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris was on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 bestowed The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon by the President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Her Excellency Dr. Tsai Ing-wen.
The Order of Propitious Clouds with Special Grand Cordon is one of Taiwan’s highest orders and decorations conferred on foreign Heads of Government.
The honour was bestowed on the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister during a State Banquet held at the Presidential Office Plaza in Taipei following the staging of a 19-gun military display by the Taiwan Honour Guard.
Prime Minister Harris described Tuesday’s ceremony as very humbling, and noted, “I am mindful that today’s investiture of this highest honour is symbolic of the sincere appreciation and regard of the Government and people of Taiwan for my leadership in promoting greater international support for Taiwan at the United Nations, WTO (World Trade Organization) and other international fora.”
Dr. Harris added that he considers The Order of Propitious Clouds a tribute to the immense success that the Team Unity Administration has had in working with the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to cultivate an even more favourable relationship than that which existed before his tenure as Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Our bilateral relations with Taiwan and its people have been strong and resilient for over 35 years. I can confidently say that my country is the strongest ally of Taiwan in the Caribbean,” the prime minister said emphatically.
Prime Minister Harris used the occasion to highlight some areas of cooperation that have redounded to the mutual benefit of both nations.
In the area of health, the prime minister noted that with the assistance from the Government of Taiwan, St. Kitts and Nevis was able to address the critical issue of the care and treatment of non-communicable diseases, while its assistance in the area of national security, has led to much needed support in training and technology that has helped the Federation realize a dramatic reduction in recorded crime for the first 14 weeks of 2019.
“Indeed, your country has touched pretty much every facet of life in St. Kitts and Nevis within the past four years – including our culture and heritage…having contributed towards the construction of our National Heroes Park…agriculture…having installed four weather stations to collect agriculture-related weather information which is critical as we address the challenges of climate change…and of course education…as Taiwan continues to offer study opportunities through your Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) scholarship programmes,” Dr. Harris disclosed.
Prime Minister Harris reaffirmed the commitment and unwavering support of the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, stating, “Ours has been a friendship that has withstood global, political, and social changes and in this new era, it is our hope that we both secure a future for our people that accords with the mandate given to us.”