Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen quoted Pope Francis on Thursday, the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident, when she said the most effective antidote to violence is dialogue.
Tsai made the remark when receiving Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Pope Francis' special envoy, adding that Catholics in Taiwan would very much welcome a visit from the Pope.
The Vatican is Taiwan's only diplomatic ally in Europe.
During the meeting, Tsai said democratic Taiwan believes in dialogue, and will work with the Holy See to contribute to humanitarian efforts around the world.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, arrived in Taiwan on Thursday to attend the concluding celebration of the 4th National Eucharistic Congress in Taiwan, to be held in Yunlin County on March 1, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This is the fourth time the Catholic Church in Taiwan has hosted the National Eucharistic Congress, Tsai noted.
When the people of Taiwan endured daily hardship and want, Catholic missionaries came to the island and contributed to the development of medical care and education, Tsai said, adding that she expressed her gratitude when meeting with foreign senior Catholic clerics a few months ago.
The atmosphere of harmony and mutual respect among religions in Taiwan has been recognized by the Holy See, the president said.
The Vatican and Taiwan have jointly organized inter-religious meetings and it is hoped Filoni's visit will promote greater understanding and communication between the two nations, she added.
Taiwan on Thursday commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident, the brutal crackdown of an anti-government uprising by Kuomintang (KMT) military forces in 1947.
It is estimated that between 18,000 to 28,000 people were killed during the crackdown, which lasted from February 28 into early May that year, according to an investigation commissioned by the Cabinet in 1992.