On the morning of January 31, during her meeting with a delegation led by Solomon Islands National Parliament Speaker Ajilon Jasper Nasiu, President Tsai Ing-wen praised the long-term cooperative achievements of Taiwan-Solomon Islands diplomacy. She also expressed hope that lawmakers from both countries will interact more frequently, and that the Solomon Islands will continue to support Taiwan, and help us expand our international participation.
In remarks, President Tsai mentioned that during her visit to the Solomon Islands last November, Speaker Nasiu invited her to address the National Parliament. At the time, the Parliament was considering a Cabinet reshuffle, and the various political parties had different opinions about domestic political issues. But the president said she discovered that even when domestic issues are contentious, opposing political parties can still cooperate on foreign relations issues. So over 80% of Solomon Islands parliamentarians still attended her address.
President Tsai pointed out that Taiwan also has a mature democratic system, so various political parties often have intense debates about domestic political issues, and even open conflicts. But when it comes to foreign affairs, she said, the people of Taiwan expect the ruling and opposition parties to pull together, and stand as one. The president stated that she was quite impressed with the unity of the Solomon Islands' parliament, and Speaker Nasiu's outstanding leadership.
Speaking on the cooperative achievements of Taiwan-Solomon Islands diplomacy, President Tsai stressed that for many years the two countries have cooperated on public health, agricultural technology, talent development, and clean energy projects with great success. Last year, Taiwan and the Solomon Islands signed an air transport agreement, as well as MOUs on police cooperation and meteorological cooperation. Honiara and Kaohsiung also established a sister port relationship.
The president then mentioned that in June of last year Taiwan's Legislative Yuan also founded the Solidarity Association of Taiwan and Solomon Lawmakers. So with Speaker Nasiu's support, she said, she hopes lawmakers from both countries will have more frequent interactions. President Tsai expressed hope that by exchanging ideas and getting first-hand experience during this trip, the visitors will learn more about Taiwan's development. She also expressed hope that the Solomon Islands will continue to support Taiwan, and help us expand our international participation.
In closing, President Tsai once again welcomed Speaker Nasiu and his delegation to Taiwan, wished them a smooth and successful trip, and said she looks forward to taking the friendship between Taiwan and the Solomon Islands to the next level.
In addition to Solomon Islands Ambassador to the ROC Joseph Pius Waleanisia, the delegation also included other parliamentarians: Matthew Cooper Waletofea, Chairman of the Bill and Legislation Committee; Silas Kerry Vaqara Tausinga, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; and Member of Parliament Samson Maneka.