At 10:00 a.m. on November 2 local time (7:00 a.m. Taipei time), President Tsai Ing-wen met with Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, and witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on police cooperation. The president was in the Solomon Islands on a diplomatic mission dubbed "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future—2017 State Visits to Pacific Allies."
In remarks, President Tsai noted that when Prime Minister Sogavare and Mrs. Sogavare were in Taiwan this past September they suggested that President Tsai visit the Solomon Islands, so she was delighted to be in the islands with the prime minister less than two months later.
President Tsai stated that the Solomon Islands has long been Taiwan's good friend. The two countries established diplomatic ties 34 years ago, working together to put core values like freedom, democracy, and human rights into practice. The Solomon Islands has long spoken up in international venues for Taiwan's right to meaningful international participation, for which the president expressed sincere thanks on behalf of the people of Taiwan.
President Tsai also reiterated that "Sustainable Austronesia, Working Together for a Better Future" was the theme of her current trip. "Working together for a better future," she said, means supporting each other and working together for a better future.
President Tsai pointed out that sustainable development has been a major concern in the Solomon Islands over the past few years, as well as an important goal in the international community. In response to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Taiwan released its first Voluntary National Review this year. At the same time, Taiwan is heavily invested in developing its green energy industry, with an eye to phasing out nuclear power and reducing carbon emissions.
Our plans are not limited to Taiwan only, said the president, who explained that we are also cooperating with Solomon Islands National University on a solar energy development project there to allow more Solomon Islanders to enjoy affordable, clean energy. It will also further cement ties between our countries, she added.
Commenting on the signing of a MOU on bilateral police cooperation, President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan and the Solomon Islands will increase exchanges between their respective police authorities, and step up cooperation on capacity building to contribute to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
And finally, President Tsai again thanked Prime Minister Sogavare for inviting her to the Solomon Islands, and expressed hope that the Solomon Islands and Taiwan will continue to adhere to the principles of "steadfast diplomacy and mutual assistance for mutual benefits" in a joint effort to a better future and increased cooperation.
Afterward, President Tsai and Prime Minister Sogavare stood witness as Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs David T. Lee (李大維) and Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade Milner Tozaka signed the MOU on police cooperation.
Earlier in the day, President Tsai and her delegation first went to the Government House to meet with Solomon Islands Governor-General Frank Kabui. During the meeting, the president stated that Taiwan attaches great importance to its friendship with the Solomon Islands, and that she hopes to continue expanding opportunities for bilateral cooperation, building mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhancing diplomatic relations.