Koror, Palau — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen concludes a week-long tour of the region with the aim of strengthening diplomatic ties with Pacific island countries. Before leaving Palau, Tsai Ing-wen inked a maritime cooperation agreement with the island nation.
Tsai arrived in Palau on March 22 for the first leg of her regional visit with aim of strengthening diplomatic ties with Pacific island countries. From Palau, Tsai headed to Nauru and Marshall Islands on March 26 to attend the first Pacific Women Leaders’ Coalition Conference.
Tsai signed a coast guard cooperation agreement with Palau and Nauru, similar to
a deal it already has with the Marshall Islands. Under the agreement, Taiwan will
fund the construction of two 8-ton patrol boats, one each for Palau and Nauru,
which will be built in the two countries, according to the Central News Agency.
Tsai’s visit marked the first by a Taiwan president since former President Chen
Shui bian visited in 2006.
Tsai embarked on the tour amid the growing rivalry between Taiwan and China
over influence in the Pacific.
Last year, China canceled Palau’s approved destination status as a “punishment” for the Pacific nation’s enhanced diplomacy with Taiwan. China’s action resulted in a decrease in the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Palau.