PALAU OFFICIAL FLIRTS WITH CHINA AS TAIWAN BUILDS ROAD

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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Aug 23) – Republic of Palau President Remengesau has asked the leadership of Ngchesar State to respect the relationship that the national government is nurturing with Taiwan.

The President was the keynote speaker during last Friday’s (Aug. 17) ribbon cutting ceremony of the newly improved portion of the State Road in Ngchesar, which was funded through grants from the government of Taiwan.

The President said it is not appropriate that while Taiwan is funding such development projects, one is trying to establish friendly relations with China, which is Taiwan’s political nemesis.

"I am appealing to the people and leaders of Ngchesar to wait until I finish my term. After that, it will depend on the new leadership of Palau if it will maintain such diplomatic relationship with Taiwan," Remengesau said.

Governor Duane Hideo extended his State’s gratitude to the development assistance in his opening remarks.

In his comments after the President’s speech, Hideo said that that kind of request is "coercive" and it does not respect their right to establish a friendly relation with other nations.

It would be recalled that Hideo led a team of five Palauans that went to a familiarization trip to China recently.

The team also included Governor Jackson Ngiraingas of Peleliu, Governor Horace Rafael of Angaur, businessman Basilius Polycarp and Demei Otobed.

After the trip, Hideo and Ngiraingas said they do not care about the China-Taiwan rift as they reported about what has transpired while they were visiting Beijing, Shanghai and other key locations in the mainland.

Hideo and Ngiraingas believe that if Palau wants real economic growth then China should be one of the logical options that could extend help to achieve that goal.

Taiwan’s application for membership with the United Nations became Ambassador Lee’s speech during the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Also present were Paramount Chief Reklai Raphael Ngirmang and the traditional chiefs of Ngchesar, Senate President Surangel Whipps Sr., Sen. Santy Asanuma, Sen. Alfonso Diaz, Sen. Yukiwo Dengokl, Sen. Hokkons Baules and Sen. Alan Seid.

HOD members present were Speaker Antonio Bells, Floor Leader Sabino Anastacio, who represents Ngchesar, Mario Gulibert, Thomas Patris, Kalistus Ngirturong, Noah Secharraimul and Flavian Carlos.

The Governors present were Yoshitaka Adachi, Laurentino Ulechong, Lazarus Kodep, Edwin Chokai, Akiko Sugiyama, Victoria Kanai, Constantino Ngiraked, Browny Salvador, Demei Obak and Masasinge Arurang.

Ministers present were Otoichi Besebes (commerce and trade), Fritz Koshiba (resources and development) and Temmy Shmull (State).

Japan Charge d’ Affaires Kuniwo Nakamura was also present.

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