On the afternoon of November 12, 2018, President Tsai Ing-wen welcomed Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau and Mrs. Remengesau with full military honors. President Tsai thanked Palau for speaking up on behalf of Taiwan's participation in the international community for many years, and said she looks forward to continued cooperation with the Republic of Palau on issues including climate change, marine resources, and clean energy.
The welcome ceremony with full military honors was held at 4:00 pm (Taipei time) in the square fronting the Presidential Office Building. After a 21-gun salute and the playing of the two countries' national anthems, President Tsai and President Remengesau reviewed the military honor guard and delivered remarks.
In her remarks, President Tsai expressed her great pleasure for being able to welcome, with full military honors, the delegation led by President and Mrs. Remengesau for this state visit. She then offered a sincere welcome on behalf of the people and government of Taiwan.
President Tsai recalled that back in 2016, President and Mrs. Remengesau led a delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony for her and Vice President Chen Chien-jen. In the two years since then, Taiwan and Palau have seen their cooperation grow ever closer. Palau has continued to participate in major international events organized by Taiwan, such as the Austronesian Forum and the Taichung World Flora Exposition that opened earlier this month. These gestures all show that the two countries' diplomatic friendship is as strong as ever.
President Tsai also pointed out that over the past few years, political factors have put impact and pressure on Palau's tourism sector, and yet President Remengesau has never given in. Instead, he has continued to insist on environmental sustainability, improving tourism quality, and providing the greatest support for Taiwan's international participation. Palau has spoken up for Taiwan at the World Health Assembly this past May, the United Nations General Assembly this September, and at the Third UN High-level Meeting on Non-communicable Diseases. She then conveyed the deepest appreciation on behalf of the people of Taiwan.
Palau is Taiwan's greatest friend, said President Tsai. The two countries share similar Austronesian traditions from the past, and in modern times, continue to share common values like democracy, freedom, and sustainable development. Building on this close friendship, Taiwan and Palau will continue to face challenges together, and provide each other with the strongest support. President Tsai then said that this summer, the high season for tourism, our national airlines added special direct flights to encourage even more people from Taiwan to visit Palau. For issues high on President Remengesau's agenda like climate change, marine resources, and clean energy, President Tsai pledged that we will continue to support and work with Palau.
Concluding her remarks, President Tsai stated that this visit will allow both sides to exchange ideas on areas of cooperation, and we have arranged many field visits for President Remengesau, which will facilitate bilateral cooperation and exchanges going forward. President Tsai once again welcomed her guests to the Republic of China (Taiwan), and wished them a smooth and successful trip.
President Remengesau then delivered remarks, thanking the Taiwan government for the warm welcome and hospitality his delegation received. He stated that the Republic of Palau and the Republic of China (Taiwan) enjoy a bond of brotherhood, and a strong and stable bilateral relationship that Palau values tremendously. This friendship, President Remengesau said, is based on the pursuit of freedom, peace and security, and the protection of human rights. He added that our shared values are also reflected in our efforts to preserve our traditional cultures. President Remengesau then said that Palau is committed to promoting its bilateral partnership with Taiwan to advance the wellbeing of people in both countries, and reiterated how happy he was to visit Taiwan again.
Also attending the welcome ceremony were Vice President Chen Chien-jen and Mrs. Chen, National Security Council Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德), President of the Legislative Yuan Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Liu Chien-sin (劉建忻), and the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan.