Sun, Oct 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Tsai urges non-partisanship ahead of state visit

Staff writer, with CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen waves to reporters yesterday as she leaves for a visit to the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged political parties to work together and resolve their differences through dialogue, as she embarked on a visit to three of the nation’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific.

In a statement made prior to her departure, Tsai said that Taiwan’s diplomatic relations with Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands were established during the tenures of former presidents Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) and Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), and their successors Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) continued to build upon the ties.

It takes a long time for diplomacy to bear fruit and it is essential that such efforts are continuous regardless of political affiliation, she said.

Tsai said she has been working hard to bring about cross-partisan solidarity, dialogue and cooperation on domestic as well as foreign issues.

“If we can stand united on the diplomatic front, there is no reason we cannot work together on domestic issues,” she said.

In her Double Ten National Day address, Tsai also called for unity and invited political party leaders to sit down and exchange views on constitutional and other reforms.

In her statement yesterday, Tsai said she would use the opportunity afforded by the trip to convey the people’s gratitude to the nation’s diplomats, technical and medical teams, and expatriates in Tuvalu, the Marshall Islands and the Solomon Islands for their efforts in promoting foreign relations.

“Overseas Taiwanese are acting to put into practice the principle that diplomacy cannot be divided by political affiliation or differentiated between government and non-government sectors,” she said.

“I hope everyone will work together to fight for Taiwan’s future,” she added.

During the visit, she is also to thank the Pacific nations for their longtime support and demonstrate to the world that Taiwan has the will and ability to contribute more to the international community, she said.

Tsai was scheduled to arrive in Honolulu late on Friday local time for a 34-hour layover, before reaching the Marshall Islands tomorrow afternoon, according to an itinerary released by the Presidential Office.

Tsai is to arrive in Tuvalu on Wednesday morning and spend the night in the Solomon Islands. She will stop in the US territory of Guam on Friday before returning to Taiwan a day later.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said that in keeping with past practice of stopping over in US territory, Tsai is to meet or have contact with Taiwanese expatriates, businesspeople, students and locals to strengthen friendships.

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