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Vice President Lai delivers remarks before departing for Palau
Vice President Lai delivers remarks before departing for Palau

On the morning of November 1, Vice President Lai Ching-te delivered remarks before embarking on a three-day, two-night trip to the Republic of Palau. During this trip, the vice president said he hopes to achieve the three objectives entrusted to him by President Tsai Ing-wen – advancing bilateral and international connections, tourism, and cooperation – by connecting both with our Pacific ally Palau and the international community, and working together to promote ocean tourism and enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas. The vice president also said that he looks forward to further strengthening our friendly bilateral ties while promoting and deepening the values of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights.

In remarks, the vice president said that sending this delegation to the Republic of Palau for a state visit marks our first official diplomatic trip since Taiwan reopened its borders on October 13. He added that the goals for this trip are clear: to complete the three objectives entrusted to them by President Tsai. 

Regarding the first objective, connections, the vice president said that Taiwan and Palau have been diplomatic allies for 23 years, forming an enduring friendship that has not been affected by the pandemic and maintaining frequent mutual visits. After visiting last year, President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of Palau also led a delegation on a state visit to Taiwan last month and participated in our National Day celebrations, while Vice President J. Uduch Sengebau Senior led a delegation to Taiwan this past August. Vice President Lai's reciprocal visit at the invitation of Palau proves that Taiwan, with our borders now open, is well-prepared to not only connect with our Pacific ally Palau, but to further connections with the international community.

Addressing the second objective, tourism, Vice President Lai said that Taiwan and Palau are both maritime nations with beautiful seascapes. He expressed hope that this visit will advance our joint economic and tourism efforts in the post-pandemic era, especially as Palau is known as "God's aquarium." The vice president noted that this delegation includes tourism industry association heads from across Taiwan and representatives from several well-established travel agencies that can promote mutual tourism. He also expressed confidence that our efforts will advance tourism in Taiwan and Palau, as well as encouraging more Taiwanese to visit Palau as tourists and let the international community see more of the beauty of both our countries.

Regarding the third objective, cooperation, Vice President Lai said that during this trip he will meet with President Whipps and Vice President Sengebau, visit the House of Delegates and Senate of the Palau National Congress, and express thanks to Palau on behalf of the people of Taiwan. As President Whipps and the Palau National Congress are staunch supporters of Taiwan, and have spoken up for Taiwan numerous times on the international stage, the vice president said he wants to convey to Palau the sincere gratitude of Taiwan's people. 

Vice President Lai said that during this trip he will attend a groundbreaking ceremony for a new road construction project for which Taiwan provided aid, and visit a farm funded by the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF). The vice president has also been invited to attend a ceremony marking the donation of a telemedicine center to Palau by the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, and will witness the Taiwan International Baseball Interchange Development Association's donation of baseball equipment to the Palau Major League. 

Vice President Lai said that he sincerely hopes this visit will enhance bilateral cooperation, whether in diplomacy, tourism, medicine, education, culture, or other areas, all of which have room for further progress. He stated that this will not only strengthen our friendly bilateral ties and bring our peoples closer together, but facilitate bilateral cooperation to promote and deepen the values of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights internationally. The vice president concluded his remarks by thanking the members of the foreign diplomatic corps for seeing him off.  

Among those at the airport to see the vice president off were Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Deputy Secretary-General to the President Alex Huang (黃重諺), Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Bowman, and Palau Ambassador David Orrukem. 

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