Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

World

Taiwan’s next president goes shrimp fishing with foreign guests

Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te (C) catches a shrimp next to King Mswati III of Eswatini (L) and Taiwan's Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (R)
Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te (C) catches a shrimp next to King Mswati III of Eswatini (L) and Taiwan's Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (R) - Copyright POOL/AFP Aden HSU
Taiwan's President-elect Lai Ching-te (C) catches a shrimp next to King Mswati III of Eswatini (L) and Taiwan's Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (R) - Copyright POOL/AFP Aden HSU

They might have bigger fish to fry, but Taiwan’s next president and vice president spent the eve of their inauguration on Sunday dangling rods over a murky pond at a shrimp fishing farm.

President-elect Lai Ching-te and his deputy Hsiao Bi-khim hauled visiting foreign dignitaries, including presidents and a king, along for the fishing expedition at the Zhishan Shrimp Fishing Farm in the capital Taipei.

Shrimp fishing is a popular pastime in Taiwan, especially on weekends when families flock to farms to catch and barbecue crustaceans.

In front of cameras, Sunday’s unlikely group of fishers appeared relaxed as they sat on chairs around an indoor pond while assistants dressed in black helpfully attached bait to the end of their fishing lines.

Lai, Hsiao and their guests — including some leaders of the handful of countries that maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan — then patiently waited for the shrimp to bite.

“Taiwan is not alone,” Lai, wearing an open-neck striped shirt, told the visitors after they arrived at the fishing farm.

“We have been working with international friends like you all who also uphold the values of democracy, freedom and human rights.”

Lai, the son of a coal miner, offered some helpful tips to the fishers.

“The shrimp will play around with the bait first, so wait for them to swallow before pulling up the line,” Lai said.

It didn’t take long for the first shrimp to be pulled from the water.

The attentive assistants were on standby to unhook the critters and drop them in green nets in front of each person.

As he prepares for the complex challenges of the presidency, including avoiding a conflict with China — which claims Taiwan as part of its own territory — Lai may have been eager to be seen succeeding in the relatively easier task of catching a shrimp.

After a slow start, he pulled in several large crustaceans to the cheers and clapping of observers.

But he was no match for the tracksuit-wearing king of the landlocked African country of Eswatini, who pulled in shrimp after shrimp.

King Mswati III was eventually declared the winner with the biggest catch, while Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine came in second.

Both received fishing rods as their prizes, raising them triumphantly.

AFP
Written By

With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

You may also like:

Business

You can call it good business or at least good personal finance arithmetic.

Life

Catherine, Princess of Wales, announced on Friday she will make her first public appearance in six months this weekend.

Business

There are many reasons why businesses have trouble retaining their employees that they might not be noticing.

Business

A digital ID is an online representation of an individual, which contains personal information.