President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Saturday landed in Honolulu en route to the nation’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific and set off for a visit to a Pearl Harbor memorial.
Tsai left on Saturday on a week-long trip to three Pacific island allies — Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands and the Marshall Islands — via Honolulu and the US territory of Guam.
Earlier this week, the US Department of State said Tsai’s transits through US soil would be “private and unofficial” and were based on long-standing US practice consistent with “our unofficial relations with Taiwan.”
It said there was “no change to the US ‘one China’ policy,” which recognizes that Beijing maintains the view that there is only “one China,” but holds that Taiwan's sovereignty is unresolved.
Tsai says she wants to maintain peace with China, but will defend Taiwan’s democracy and security.
The president, accompanied by her entourage, on Saturday afternoon left on a short boat ride for the USS Arizona Memorial, which is built over the remains of the battleship sunk in Pearl Harbor in World War II.
Earlier in the day, Tsai took part in a lunch that was attended by about 200 overseas Taiwanese.
Tsai told lunch guests that Hawaii is of great importance to Taiwan, citing links between the nation’s Aborigines and those in Hawaii, as well as mutual exchanges in business and tourism.
More than 10,000 Taiwanese travelers visit the US state every year, Tsai said, adding that the number is likely to increase following Taiwan’s admission into the US Global Entry program beginning on Wednesday.
The Global Entry program is an initiative launched by the US government for expedited entry through US borders.
Tsai said relations between the two nations would strengthen, adding that Taiwan would continue to work with the US on regional security, investment and trade issues.
She reiterated her position that Taiwan would always be a reliable partner of the US.
Tsai said that Aborigines on Pacific islands, like those in Hawaii, are important to their Taiwanese counterparts in their journey to learn about their history.
She said she hopes Taiwan and Hawaii can build on the existing foundation of cooperation and continue to develop an even closer relationship in the spirit of sustainable development goals set by the UN.
American Institute in Taiwan Director James Moriarty, who was also in attendance, said he has witnessed Taiwan’s democracy growing stronger over the years, adding that Taiwanese under 30 have not experienced authoritarianism.
Interpersonal exchanges are the core of Taiwan-US relations and the most important part of relations between the two nations outside of cooperation on regional security and trade, he said.
The trip to diplomatic allies is Tsai’s second this year. In January she stopped over in Houston, Texas, and San Francisco on her way to and from Latin America, and visited the headquarters of Twitter, which is blocked in China.
This story has been amended since it was first published to correct the US' "one China policy," which holds that Taiwan's sovereignty is unresolved.
Three cases of Candida auris, a fungus that can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis in humans, have been reported in Taiwan over the past few years, but they did not display drug resistance, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said yesterday. Lo made the statement at a news conference in Taipei, one day after the Washington Post reported that the potentially deadly fungus is spreading in US hospitals. The fungus was first discovered in Japan in 2009 and poses a danger to immunocompromised people, with an estimated mortality rate of 30 to 60 percent, Lo
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
MEDIA, SOCIETY FOCUS: Doublethink Lab said that Beijing is trying to coerce countries that rely on China economically to pursue policies in its favor China has stronger influence over Taiwan’s media and society than any other country, the Taipei-based Doublethink Lab think tank said yesterday, as it announced its China Index gauging Beijing’s global influence. Taiwan ranked 11th overall among 82 countries assessed, but first in terms of social and media influence, Doublethink Lab chairman Puma Shen (沈伯洋) told a news conference in Taipei. More than 200 experts and academics participated in the project, including some highly influential figures, Shen said. The index collects information from countries worldwide to gauge China’s influence and assess how Chinese policies affect them, Shen said. In terms of Chinese