To the central content area

News & activities

Vice President Lai arrives in Palau, meets President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of Palau
Vice President Lai arrives in Palau, meets President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of Palau

On the afternoon of November 1 (noon Taipei time), Vice President Lai Ching-te and his delegation arrived at Palau International Airport after a flight of 3 hours and 50 minutes. After the plane parked on the airport tarmac, Ambassador to Palau Jessica C. Lee (黎倩儀) and Palau Minister of State Gustav Aitaro boarded the plane to welcome Vice President Lai. As he disembarked, Vice President Lai was personally received by Palau Vice President J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, with whom he shook hands and exchanged greetings, and received a garland of flowers from a Palauan student.

Vice President Sengebau then accompanied Vice President Lai down a red carpet through a police honor cordon, and introduced the assembled Palauan government officials individually to Vice President Lai. After greeting members of the overseas Taiwanese community, Vice President Lai proceeded by motorcade to Palau's new capital Ngerulmud to meet President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of Palau, with whom he exchanged views on a wide range of topics of mutual concern.

In remarks at the meeting, Vice President Lai noted that though his visit had been deferred for a year, COVID-19 had not stopped them from meeting, and expressed gratitude to President Whipps for his invitation, thanks to which he was finally able to visit Palau. Vice President Lai also conveyed President Tsai Ing-wen's greetings to President Whipps and Vice President Sengebau, and thanked Vice President Sengebau for coming to the airport to welcome him. He added that the hundreds of Palauan students waving the flags of both countries who lined his motorcade's route into the meeting venue provided the kind of warm welcome that made him feel like he was coming home.

Vice President Lai said that as soon as he disembarked from the charter plane, he saw that Palau is truly a beautiful country, with an unobstructed skyline, deep blue skies, and azure seas, and expressed eagerness to see more of Palau's beautiful scenery on his first visit to the island country. 

On behalf of President Tsai, Vice President Lai conveyed the Taiwanese people's gratitude to the government and people of the Republic of Palau for supporting Taiwan, and especially to President Whipps for publicly speaking out on numerous occasions for Taiwan's international participation. The vice president expressed admiration for President Whipps' analogy at the UN General Assembly, in which he called on the members of the international community to come together and cooperate with one another, like Palau's distinctive surgeonfish do in the face of challenges, to defend freedom, democracy, and human rights. He also said he hopes that Taiwan and Palau can collaborate on the international stage to contribute to the development of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

Vice President Lai said that President Tsai had appointed him to lead a large delegation to Palau at the invitation of President Whipps, and that, regarding President Whipps' desire to develop tourism, the delegation includes government officials as well as the heads of a number of national and regional tourism associations and leading domestic travel agencies that can help bring Taiwanese to Palau and promote tourism.  

Vice President Lai also stated that on November 16, China Airlines will formally resume its two scheduled weekly flights to Palau, a development made possible by an appeal from President Whipps and one that President Tsai regards as a matter of great importance. Noting that the delegation is accompanied by a medical team from Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital as well as Taiwanese baseball stars, the vice president expressed confidence that we can deepen cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and Palau in medicine and sports.

Pointing out that Palauan outfielder Bligh Madris has made it to the US major leagues, Vice President Lai noted that two outstanding players from Taiwan's major league had also been invited to join the trip: Hu Chin-lung (胡金龍), who previously played in the US major leagues, and Chen Yung-chi (陳鏞基), who used to play at the Triple-A level in the US minor leagues.

Vice President Lai expressed his belief that there is much Taiwan can learn from Palau, which has placed great importance on marine ecological conservation efforts, and where citizens have the right to vote at 18 years old, something that Taiwan is still working to realize. This past April, President Whipps announced that Palau will be completely powered by green energy by 2032. In April 2021, President Tsai announced Taiwan's goal of transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050, and this past March, the Executive Yuan published Taiwan's Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050. The vice president expressed hope that Taiwan and Palau can cooperate to address climate change and its related issues and contribute to the international community, saying that this is what Taiwan and Palau must do as maritime nations.

Also in attendance were Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), Tourism Bureau Director-General Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰), and Ambassador to Palau Jessica C. Lee.

Code Ver.:F201708221923 & F201708221923.cs
Code Ver.:201710241546 & 201710241546.cs