Vice President Chen Chien-jen's mission of friendship to Palau continued on the afternoon of December 29 (Sunday) as he made his way to the Drop-off Marina to participate in the ROC (Taiwan)-Palau Fishing Derby, and enjoyed the pleasures of ocean fishing together with Palauan political leaders and citizens.
Vice President and Mrs. Chen, accompanied by Palau Vice President Raynold Oilouch and Mrs. Oilouch, boarded the yacht SEEUS PALAU to fish in the waters surrounding the Rock Islands, taking in the turquoise seas and scenic beauty of Palau for about two hours.
After returning to the marina, Vice President Chen then attended the fishing derby award ceremony. The following is a translation of his remarks:
I am honored to join Vice President Oilouch in presiding over today's fishing derby, one of the highlights of celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of official diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of Palau. I am happy that so many Palauan fishing enthusiasts have turned out for this important event. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate both of our countries for a long friendship that keeps getting better over time, and wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.
Taiwan and Palau are both maritime nations where maintaining and preserving marine resources is a priority, and fishing is a very popular pastime. Palau, known as "God's aquarium," is a paradise for people who like to fish because of the tremendous variety of fish that thrive here. I want to thank Vice President Oilouch for taking me and my wife out fishing in the famous Rock Islands. This outing helped me understand more about the environmentally-friendly fishing equipment and fishing methods used in Palau, and experience the genuine warmth and friendliness of Palau's people. We are very happy to help spread the word about Palau's diverse tourism resources and encourage more people from Taiwan to travel here and see first-hand what is so special about Palau's tourism and leisure industry, and Pacific island culture.
Palau is blessed with a tremendous wealth of precious marine resources that provide people with food, while attracting many tourists. I really admire President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. for establishing the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which shows Palau's firm and wise commitment to sustainable development. Taiwan has also launched an Aquaculture Project in Palau to restore fish resources and contribute to food safety.
Since we established diplomatic relations on December 29, 1999, Taiwan and Palau have supported each other, providing mutual assistance for mutual benefits. We have also achieved outstanding results through our cooperative projects in medicine and health care, education, agriculture, fisheries, clean energy, and infrastructure. Looking to the future, I want to reiterate Taiwan's unwavering commitment to supporting sustainable development in Palau and our willingness to further enhance exchanges and cooperation so we can take our bilateral ties to the next level.
It is an honor to share this wonderful day with all of you. I know that Vice President Oilouch is a fishing expert and fishing derby champion. So in addition to expressing my gratitude to Vice President Oilouch for accompanying me, I would like to invite the vice president to Taiwan so that we can enjoy fishing together again. I also want to wish Taiwan and Palau a "Happy 20th Anniversary" and the continued development of our friendship.
After concluding his remarks, Vice President Chen and Vice President Oilouch awarded prizes to the winners of the fishing derby. ROC Ambassador to Palau Wallace M.G. Chow (周民淦) also accompanied Vice President Chen at the event.