Vice President Lai Ching-te conducted a video call Jan. 24 in Taipei City with Hilda C. Heine, newly sworn in as president of the Marshall Islands, highlighting the tight bond between the two countries.
During the conversation, Lai lauded Heine as Taiwan’s cherished friend, remarking on the country’s firm support of its Pacific ally as evidenced by Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang’s attendance of the inauguration as President Tsai Ing-wen’s envoy Jan. 22 in Majuro.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of formal diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands, the vice president said. He added that the two nations have collaborated successfully in the fields of agriculture, clean energy, education, information and communication technologies, medicine, and sanitation, saying that he envisioned a deepening of mutual links through new cooperative projects.
Lai said that the Taiwan-Marshall Islands Adaptation and Contingency Fund for Climate Change provides a firm foundation for aid from Taiwan to assist its ally in building resilient, responsive systems and addressing climate challenges. He also pointed out that a fund aimed at facilitating the creation of businesses by women in the Marshall Islands, initiated by Tsai and Heine in 2022, is another powerful example of how Taiwan can help empower women.
Lai concluded by expressing that he looks forward to working with Heine to further enhance and expand bilateral relations once he takes office. He also extended her an invitation for his inauguration in May.
In response, Heine said that her country has always been grateful for all the assistance and support that Taiwan’s government has provided, to the great benefit of the Marshallese. She added that the Marshall Islands is proud to back Taiwan in regional and international contexts, and vowed to continue working with Taiwan and like-minded partners to promote the safety and resilience of the Indo-Pacific. (POC-E)
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