Taiwan’s diplomatic relations with its four remaining Pacific allies are stable and the government would continue deepening ties with the Marshall Islands after its newly elected senators pick a new president by Monday next week, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.
Taiwan has consolidated ties with its 15 remaining allies — including Palau, the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Nauru in the Pacific — after two Pacific allies — the Solomon Islands and Kiribati — switched political allegiance from Taipei to Beijing in a week’s time in September last year.
Mutual visits between high-ranking Taiwanese and Palauan officials have been frequent, demonstrating that bilateral ties are solid, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Baushuan Ger (葛葆萱) told a news briefing in Taipei, after Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) on Monday returned from a three-day visit to Palau to attend celebrations for the 20th anniversary of bilateral ties.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in March last year made a state visit to Palau, which was followed by separate visits by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod, Ger said.
Palauan Vice President Raynold Oilouch in July last year visited Taiwan and Palauan Minister of State Faustina Rehuher-Marugg attended Taiwan’s Double Ten National Day celebrations in October last year, he said.
As Palauan President Thomas Remengesau Jr is not to seek re-election in a November election, Taiwan would watch the results of the poll and continue collaboration with its future government, he added.
The Marshall Islands in November last year elected 33 new senators, Ger said, adding that the ruling party of Marshallese President Hilda Heine, the political opposition and independents hold equal shares of parliament, Ger said.
As the newly elected senators are to pick a new president by Monday next week, Taiwan looks forward to deepening ties with their new administration, he said.
Asked to comment on a rumor that some Marshallese opposition politicians have proposed building ties with Beijing, Ger said that such speculation is not true, as Taiwan-Marshall Islands ties were not part of the issues debated during the Pacific nation’s elections.
Taiwan maintains rapport with the Marshall Islands’ ruling and opposition parties, he said, adding that the information it has received so far remains positive.
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