President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) arrived in Nauru yesterday, continuing her eight-day state visit to Taiwan’s three diplomatic allies in the Pacific, which is also to take her to the Marshall Islands.
Tsai was greeted by Ambassador to Nauru Chow Chin-fa (周進發) and Nauruan officials, including Minister for Home Affairs, Education, Land Management and Health Charmaine Scotty and Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade Michael Aroi, at Nauru International Airport.
Before she leaves for the Marshall Islands tomorrow, Tsai is to hold talks with Nauruan President Baron Divavesi Waqa, address the Nauruan parliament and witness the signing of a sea patrol cooperation accord between the two countries.
She is also to meet Nauruan Speaker of Parliament Cyril Buraman at a luncheon, visit Naoero Museum, and offer encouragement to an orthopedics team from Taiwan’s Taichung Veterans General Hospital working in the country.
Tsai and Waqa are to attend the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Agriculture and Livestock Education Center established by the Taiwan Technical Mission in Nauru.
This is Tsai’s sixth official trip abroad and second to the Pacific since taking office in May 2016, following a visit to the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu in October 2017.
Meanwhile, two Taiwanese academics said that the presence of US Ambassador to Palau Amy Hyatt at a banquet hosted by Tsai on Saturday reflected growing ties between Taiwan and the US.
On Friday, Hyatt also attended a state banquet hosted for Tsai by Palauan President Tommy Remengesau.
Hyatt was seated at the main table on Saturday, and her interaction with Tsai was limited to little more than handshakes and exchanges of greetings.
However, Hyatt’s presence showed that the US is putting great emphasis on Tsai’s Pacific visit, said Lai I-chung (賴怡忠), a Taiwan Thinktank executive board member.
Alexander Huang (黃介正), an associate professor at Tamkang University, said that the US is seeking to strengthen ties with Taiwan as the balance across the Taiwan Strait tilts increasingly toward China.
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