President Tsai Ing-wen received Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. at the Presidential Office in Taipei City March 30, spotlighting the government’s commitment to forging closer ties with the Western Pacific ally in the post-pandemic era while welcoming the launch of the two countries’ travel bubble.
Taiwan and Palau have cooperated extensively in areas spanning disease prevention and tourism on the back of long-standing mutual trust, Tsai said, citing as examples the country’s donation of medical resources and missions to help strengthen the Western Pacific ally’s response to COVID-19.
According to Tsai, the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble, set to launch April 1, will demonstrate the feasibility of safe travel to the world. The president added that she is confident the initiative will help achieve Whipps’ goal of 100,000 Taiwan tourists visiting Palau per year.
Tsai also expressed appreciation to Whipps for his dedication to deepening bilateral relations and vowed to continue cooperation in the fields of education, energy, medicine, maritime security and Austronesian cultural exchanges.
In response, the Palau president lauded Taiwan’s success in containing the spread of coronavirus. With the opening of a travel corridor, the two sides will present a model for safely boosting people-to-people exchanges to the world, he said.
Whipps thanked Taiwan for assisting Palau with the development of its education, health care and infrastructure, adding that the two will keep working together to protect their respective cultures and the environment for generations to come.
Tsai also hosted a banquet for Whipps and his delegation at Taipei Guest House later the same day.
Whipps and his delegation are visiting Taiwan March 28 to April 1. It is the Palau president’s first trip abroad after taking office in January and the first time a diplomatic ally’s head of state has visited Taiwan since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
Taiwan and Palau celebrated 20 years of diplomatic relations in 2019. They share a rich Austronesian heritage and are working together to advance peace, stability and sustainable development across the Indo-Pacific. (YCH-E)
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Source: Taiwan Today
Taiwan's president receives Palau president and first lady
Publication Date: March 31, 2021
President Tsai Ing-wen (right) receives Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. (center) and first lady Valerie Whipps March 30 at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. (Courtesy of PO)
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