Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) arrived in Palau on Tuesday to attend a conference on marine ecology and meet with the president of the Pacific island country.
Leading a delegation of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Coast Guard Administration and the Ocean Affairs Council, Chang was welcomed by Palauan Minister of State Gustav Aitaro at the airport, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The delegation was later received by Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr at the presidential office.
Photo courtesy of the Embassy of the Republic of China in Palau
Whipps said that Palau and Taiwan have been doing their best to promote marine conservation and sustainable development, thanking Taiwan for helping his country host the two-day Our Oceans Conference today and tomorrow.
The annual event, which has been held since 2014, but was not convened in 2020 and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is aimed at taking concrete and significant actions to protect the ocean.
Aside from meeting with Palauan officials and attending a reception banquet organized by conference cohosts Palau and the US, Chang also opened a Taiwan-organized exhibition in Palau on Tuesday, the statement said.
The exhibition, titled “Toward a Zero Emission and Zero Waste Future,” showcases Taiwan’s efforts in marine conservation, marine security and marine garbage recycling for those attending the conference, which has drawn delegations from about 80 countries.
Chang was to deliver a speech on the opening day focused on Taiwan’s efforts in dealing with marine pollution, the ministry said.
It would be the first time Taiwan has attended the conference in an official capacity, the statement said.
Taiwan’s official participation at past events, held in Norway, Indonesia, Chile, Malta and the US, has been routinely opposed by China, forcing Taiwan’s EPA ministers to participate in a personal capacity.
This year, Taiwan has benefited from host Palau being one of its diplomatic allies and China not attending.
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