Tsai Ing-wen to visit Taiwan's island allies

China | 12 Mar 2019 3:39 pm

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen will visit three of Taiwan's Pacific allies, Palau, Nauru, and the Marshall Islands, where she will attend a first ever Pacific Women Leaders' Coalition Conference later this month, Deputy Minister Hsu Szu-chien announced at a press conference today.

Tsai will first visit Palau from March 21-23 and Nauru from 24-25, before arriving in the Marshall Islands on March 26 for the first PWLC, CNA reports,

According to the PWLC website, the event will be held from March 26-27. It is being convened by president of the Marshall Islands Hilda C. Heine, and encourages women leaders from various fields to participate to raise their profile and build wider support for women's issues regionally and locally.

During her trip, Tsai will meet with Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., Nauru President Baron Divavesi Waqa, and Heine, all of whom have previously visited Taiwan, according to Hsu.

Meanwhile, Hsu said a possible transit stop in the United States is still being planned with an announcement to be made after the details are finalized.

The upcoming trip will be Tsai's sixth overseas state visit since assuming office in May 2016, and her second trip to the nation's Pacific allies.

The president previously visited the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands in October 2017.

During her last trip to the region, Tsai stopped over in Honolulu and Guam before and after her state visit to the Pacific.

After the trip, Kiribati will be the only country among the nation's six Pacific allies Tsai has yet to visit.

Asked why Kiribati is not on Tsai's itinerary this time, Hsu said both presidents have had difficulty arranging a mutually acceptable schedule.

According to the ministry, President Taneti Maamau has to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji while Tsai has to return to Taiwan to oversee a memorial ceremony for people who died for the country at the Martyrs' Shrine in Yuanshan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said Kiribati will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its independence in July. The ministry is making preparations in the hope the president will be able to attend the event.

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