On the evening of October 5, a delegation led by Palau President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. arrived in Taiwan at the invitation of our government for a state visit, and to attend this year's National Day celebrations. Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said that President Tsai Ing-wen offered a warm welcome to President Whipps and his delegation on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan.
Spokesperson Chang said that on the morning of October 6, President Tsai will welcome the Palauan delegation with military honors, before holding in-depth discussions on bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual concern. President Tsai will then host a state banquet at the Presidential Office for the delegation at noon. President Whipps will also attend the 2022 Yushan Forum on October 7 where he will deliver a keynote speech.
Spokesperson Chang noted that since establishing diplomatic ties in 1999, Taiwan and Palau have maintained close, longstanding cooperation in important areas including public health and medicine, culture, sports, fishery technology, tourism, disaster preparedness, and justice. The spokesperson added that Palau has long voiced support on the global stage for Taiwan's international participation, with President Whipps personally expressing strong support numerous times at important international venues such as the United Nations General Assembly for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations and mechanisms including the World Health Assembly, United Nations Ocean Conference, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Spokesperson Chang noted that this is President Whipps' second visit to Taiwan since March of 2021. Delegation members for this trip include important representatives from the executive and legislative branches: Minister of State Gustav Aitaro; Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr.; Minister of Human Resources, Culture, Tourism and Development Ngiraibelas Tmetuchl; Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment Steven Victor; Council of Chiefs Representative Ngirturong John Sugiyama; Chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means and Financial Matters Committee Rukebai Kikuo Inabo; and Chairwoman of the House of Delegates Health, Social and Cultural Affairs Committee Victoria N. Kanai.
Spokesperson Chang stated that Taiwan and Palau are both maritime nations, and staunch allies in the Indo-Pacific region. He said that through this visit, both countries hope to continue to expand bilateral cooperation, advance the well-being of our peoples, further consolidate our bilateral friendship, and work together as maritime democracies to contribute to the resilience of global democracy and a free and open Indo-Pacific region.