On the afternoon of October 30 local time (morning of October 30 Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen, her delegation, and Marshall Islands President Hilda C. Heine were on hand at the Marshall Islands International Convention Center as ROC Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維) and Marshall Islands Foreign Affairs Minister John Silk signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of a fund to finance a presidential scholarship program, and another MOU concerning cooperation in immigration affairs and human trafficking prevention.
To enhance the bilateral partnership between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands, and provide substantive care for ordinary Marshallese people and students, President Tsai has taken advantage of this trip to join President Heine in announcing the establishment of a presidential scholarship fund to assist low-income households in the Marshall Islands and encourage outstanding students. The money for the scholarship fund will be kept on deposit at a Marshall Islands bank, and a committee will be established by the ROC embassy and Marshall Islands government agencies to screen those recommended for scholarships.
To further enhance substantive relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands and build a cooperative platform for joint action against human trafficking, the two sides also signed a MOU concerning cooperation in immigration affairs and human trafficking prevention. The two countries will cooperate on immigration affairs and share information related to the fight against terrorism and human trafficking, and work together toward the twin goals of cracking down on human trafficking and protecting human rights.
After the two heads of state stood witness as their respective foreign ministers signed the two MOUs, President Tsai delivered remarks. She first thanked President Heine for the welcome ceremony she had arranged, and then said their meeting shows that Taiwan and the Marshall Islands have a firm friendship.
President Tsai pointed out that the MOUs signed by the two countries' foreign ministers demonstrate that Taiwan and the Marshall Islands enjoy excellent ties, and will continue to expand bilateral exchanges and cooperation.
President Tsai expressed confidence that President Heine, who is both an educator and a political leader, would agree that by fostering education and instituting deeper cooperation among government agencies, the two countries will build an even closer partnership.
President Tsai stressed that Taiwan's diplomatic policy, based on the principle of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits," will allow the two countries to continue working together, and continue to improve as a result of their cooperation. The president said she was optimistic that, in the talks scheduled to take place shortly afterward, the two sides would be able to act on this principle to develop deeper and more comprehensive cooperation and exchanges.
Afterward, the two heads of state, along with relevant cabinet members from both sides, engaged in a wide-ranging exchange of views on issues of mutual concern.
After the talks concluded, President Tsai and President Heine watched as Taiwan's Taipei Medical University Shuang Ho Hospital and the Marshall Islands Ministry of Health and Human Services signed the contracts for a medical internship program and hospital information system. Prior to the signing ceremony, Shuang Ho Hospital Deputy Superintendent Jia-Wei Lin (林家瑋) delivered a briefing on the achievements of healthcare cooperation between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands to date. A young physician named David Alfred, the first Marshallese graduate from the School of Medicine for International Students at Taiwan's I-Shou University, also spoke about his experience as an intern in the Marshall Islands. Then Deputy Superintendent Lin and Marshall Islands Minister of Health and Human Services Kalani Kaneko signed the two contracts. The signing was witnessed by Taiwan's Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Marshall Islands Minister of Finance, Banking, and Postal Services Brenson Wase.