Vice President Chen Chien-jen returned from Palau and delivered remarks at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on the evening of December 30. He stated that on this trip, he attended celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Palau, during which he witnessed Taiwan's close and friendly bilateral relationship with Palau and how Taiwan has assisted in Palau's development. He also thanked the government of Palau for their gracious support and assistance, and our people stationed on the front lines in Palau for their dedication, both of which ensured a productive and successful visit.
A translation of the vice president's remarks follows:
On this trip, I represented President Tsai Ing-wen as the delegation leader to visit the Republic of Palau and attend celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries. I am happy to say that our three-day, two-night mission of friendship was a success.
This was the first time I have visited Palau as vice president. It was a very memorable trip, and I would like to share what I observed with my fellow citizens:
First, I witnessed Taiwan's close and friendly bilateral relationship with Palau.
Taiwan and Palau share Austronesian roots, cultures and languages and have the same Austronesian optimism and enthusiasm. During our visit, Palau's political leaders and traditional chiefs gave me an enthusiastic reception, and the warmth and hospitality of Palau's people was unforgettable. We invited members of the Kaohsiung-based Nibun Chorus—an indigenous singing group composed of alumni from Baolai Junior High School and Liou-Guei Senior High School—to perform at the 20th anniversary celebrations. The Austronesian music highlighted the connection between our two countries and received enthusiastic applause. I am sure that the people of Taiwan and Palau will continue to make beautiful music together for many years.
Second, I witnessed how Taiwan has assisted in Palau's development.
During this visit, I represented the Taiwan government to inspect the tangible achievements of our Taiwan Technical Mission and our joint Animal Production Project. To address nutritional imbalances caused by eating habits in Palau, our agricultural mission launched a four-year Horticulture Program in Palau this year. That project is designed to improve people's health in Palau by promoting the planting of vegetables and fruits, developing seeds and seedlings, introducing composting techniques, providing nutrition information, and encouraging the planting of gardens in homes and schools.
The Taiwan-Palau Animal Production Project has also given Palauan consumers better-quality meats to choose from while showing pig farmers how to operate more profitably, creating a win-win situation for local residents. Those two projects have helped the Palauan government achieve the key goals of promoting balanced nutrition and improving food safety, giving local citizens practical benefits. This is a prime example of the successes achieved through our "steadfast diplomacy" policy since President Tsai took office.
Taiwan and Palau have maintained stable diplomatic relations for two decades. Looking back over that 20-year journey, I want to thank Palau for the genuine friendship we have shared. I also want to thank all the diplomatic personnel, technical mission staff, and Taiwanese expatriates who have worked so hard to support our bilateral ties. Our extraordinary successes would not have been possible without their efforts.
I am well aware of Taiwan's difficult diplomatic situation. But during my overseas trips, I have been touched by the contributions that Taiwan has made to our diplomatic allies and the larger international community. I firmly believe that "steadfast diplomacy" will win us more true friends, and I hope that all citizens will continue to support our diplomatic efforts.
Once again, I want to thank the government of Palau for their gracious support and assistance during my visit. I also want to thank our government colleagues and fellow countrymen stationed on the front lines in Palau for their dedication, which helped us have a very productive and successful visit.
In closing, I would like to thank you all once more for coming out to welcome us at this late hour. I wish one and all peace, good health, and a happy New Year!
Among those at the airport to greet Vice President Chen and the delegation were Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) and Nicaraguan Ambassador to the ROC William Manuel Tapia Aleman (Dean of the foreign diplomatic corps in Taiwan).