When President Tsai Ing-wen visits Paraguay and Belize, two of Taiwan’s allies in Latin America, on Sunday, she will bring some souvenirs for the leaders of the countries. On Wednesday, the Presidential Office introduced the gifts to the public; each has been carefully chosen for the recipient.
A gift for President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay is a white porcelain piece in the shape of a rooster – after Cartes’ nickname. The work by Taiwanese artist Heinrich Wang is called Take the Lead.
The gift for Paraguay’s vice president, Alicia Pucheta, is a three-strand carnelian necklace. The semi-precious red gemstone stands for protection – a reference to her former career as a judge.
The main purpose of President Tsai’s overseas trip is to attend the inauguration of Paraguay’s president-elect Mario Abdo Benitez. The Presidential Office has prepared a wood carving for him called Space. Created by master wood carver Huang Sha-rong, the carving features branches, grapes, grape vines and birds and is a symbol of vitality and continuous growth. The round circle stands for good fortune.
A gift for the president-elect’s wife is a tea set with one teapot and two cups decorated with peonies. The top of the teapot handle is in the shape of the Formosan blue magpie. The species native to Taiwan is the island’s unofficial national bird.
For Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize, meanwhile, President Tsai has prepared fine porcelain in the shape of wild geese. The two geese are a symbol of mutual support between the two countries.