On November 3 at midday in Palau (morning Taipei time), Vice President Lai Ching-te held a reception for the press corps traveling with his delegation to Palau. The vice president shared his thoughts and impressions on the trip, and announced the successful completion of the three objectives entrusted to him by President Tsai Ing-wen – to deepen connections, tourism, and cooperation with the Republic of Palau.
At the reception, Vice President Lai opened his remarks by thanking the media for their assistance, thanks to which the people of Taiwan have been able to learn about our support for Palau, our countries' bilateral cooperation projects, and the stunning tourism and scenery on offer in Palau, which is also known as a "pristine paradise" or "God's aquarium."
Noting that President Tsai had given him three objectives, the first of which was to forge deeper connections, the vice president observed that Taiwan and Palau are both maritime nations, and must sustainably utilize ocean resources according to international laws and regulations. He added that Taiwan's indigenous peoples and the people of Palau are closely related as they both speak Austronesian languages and share a common bloodline.
Vice President Lai said that Taiwan and Palau are democratic countries which share the values of democracy, freedom, and respect for human rights, and noted that Palau's president, vice president, senate president and house speaker each in their own remarks mentioned the value of democracy as well as the importance of Taiwan and Palau to peace, stability, and development in the Indo-Pacific.
Regarding his second objective of promoting tourism, Vice President Lai said that President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. of Palau was very grateful to President Tsai, who in a period of around 20 days responded positively to his request by dispatching a delegation to help Palau revive its post-pandemic tourism industry. Adding that the delegation also conveyed the Taiwanese people's friendship with Palau, the vice president said that President Whipps lauded, and was grateful for, China Airlines' resumption on November 16 of regularly scheduled flights to Palau, and relayed President Whipps' hopes to return to the pre-pandemic schedule of four weekly flights, and even expand to daily flights. Vice President Lai said we will work together to realize the hopes of President Whipps, who the previous evening had informally exchanged views with the heads of national and local travel associations from across Taiwan, all of whom were hopeful and confident that these goals could gradually be achieved.
Regarding his third objective of advancing cooperation, Vice President Lai said that Taiwan and Palau have worked together over the past 23 years on a range of cooperative projects, and have a strong foundation for cooperation thanks in part to efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and successive ambassadors to Palau. The vice president said that we will further deepen cooperation in medicine, sports, tourism, and other industries, and that we can also strengthen and expand cooperation in addressing climate change and environmental protection issues.
Vice President Lai stated that Palau is not only a country of legendary beauty known as a "pristine paradise" and "God's aquarium," but also a progressive nation from which we can learn much in many areas, including environmental protection. Noting that Palau has been seriously affected by climate change, with its coastal beaches continuing to wash away, Vice President Lai said the Palauans are doing everything possible to preserve their country's natural environment. He added that going to Palau for tourism is about more than admiring its beautiful natural landscapes or diving and leisure travel – it is about witnessing the country's efforts in promoting awareness of environmental protection and in addressing the effects of climate change.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) and Ambassador to Palau Jessica C. Lee (黎倩儀) also attended the reception.