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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the farewell luncheon for H.E. Neijon Rema Edwards, Ambassador of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Republic of China (Taiwan)

  • Data Source:Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Date:2022-09-21

Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 Sepember 21, 2022
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good afternoon and yakwe!

It is an honor for me to host this farewell luncheon for Ambassador Edwards prior to her departure from Taiwan. Ambassador Edwards, we are very grateful for everything you have done to advance Taiwan-Marshall Islands relations. I hope that you have enjoyed your time here and that you will be leaving with many wonderful memories. And we look forward to your continued support in further strengthening the friendship, cooperation, and robust diplomatic ties between our countries.

I.    Ambassador Edwards's tenure
Before assuming your post in 2019, you held many key positions in the government of the Marshall Islands. Soon after arriving in Taiwan, you built a solid rapport with our government, actively promoted bilateral ties, and arranged visits by the former President and incumbent President of the Marshall Islands as well as cabinet ministers and the Parliament Speaker. You are a diplomat of action. Over the years, you have fully immersed yourself in Taiwanese society. In contributing to academic, commercial, and cultural endeavors, you have traveled from Keelung to Pingtung, from Taichung to Hualien, and from mountain villages in Taoyuan to outlying islands in Matsu. We truly appreciate your tireless efforts and devotion to your duties.

II.    Cordial relations
The Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Marshall Islands established diplomatic ties on November 20, 1998. In the course of our 24-year relationship, the Marshall Islands has been one of Taiwan's staunchest partners and an important ally in the South Pacific. Through your hard work and our joint endeavors, the rock-solid relations between our two countries have provided tangible benefits for both our peoples.

III.    Consistent support for Taiwan's international participation
We thank the Marshall Islands for repeatedly speaking up for Taiwan over the years and for urging the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and other international organizations to include Taiwan. When China recently launched provocative military exercises around Taiwan, President David Kabua wrote a letter to President Tsai Ing-wen to demonstrate that the Marshall Islands firmly stands in solidarity with Taiwan.

IV.    Successful cooperation projects
Taiwan and the Marshall Islands cooperate on a wide range of development projects in areas such as climate change, food security, education, public health, clean energy, and culture. For example, during a COVID-19 outbreak in the Marshall Islands in August, Taiwan immediately donated masks, rapid test kits, and oxygen concentrators. We also dispatched a medical mission to assist in fighting the pandemic.

V.    Conclusion
Finally, let me once again express my sincere gratitude to you for your exceptional contributions to deepening relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands. Building on the foundations you have helped set in place, I am confident that bilateral cooperation will continue to develop in the years to come. I wish you a safe journey back home and the best of health and happiness in the future. Thank you.