CHINESE BUSINESS DELEGATION VISITS PALAU

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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon, Sept. 26) — Five Chinese, who are members of the China Association for International Contact of the American-Oceanian Affairs, are currently in town to forge friendship through business ventures in Palau.

Delegate Joel Toribiong, who has been openly supporting the entry of China into Palau, said they are now in the process of establishing the Palau-China Friendship Association.

The Chinese have been touring the country since last weekend including Babeldaob and several key areas and are scheduled to meet reporters at the Penthouse today.

Chen Jun is the head of the delegation and is accompanied by the Association’s Deputy Director General Shellei Stone and three investors.

Toribiong said that Palau, as a member of the United Nations, must be free to befriend other nations.

"Anybody who says we cannot establish friendly relations with China is out of his mind," Toribiong told reporters at the Joe’s Restaurant.

The Association will be registered as a non-profit entity with the main idea to make business in Palau.

"It’s all about business. They (Chinese) want to start tourism from Mainland China. We just wanted to open this route," Toribiong said.

He said that the Chinese have been trying to strike a deal with Guam and Saipan for this and that Palau should be part of that vision.

"I don’t think that this will require diplomatic process because this is just a business deal and we feel we should take advantage," Toribiong said.

Asked if this will not affect his brother and presidential candidate Johnson Toribiong’s status as Palau’s Taiwan Ambassador to Taiwan, the Delegate said he is just doing this for his constituents especially Koror.

He is not also worried that he might be a target of ouster move from higher ups like what happened to Duane Hideo, the ousted former Governor of Ngchesar.

Hideo blamed President Remengesau for this but the latter denied having to do with it.

Toribiong, who had been very critical of the President, said Remengesau should not be worried about China instead.

He also said that Mainland China is very patient and confident that it will eventually win its claim of Taiwan as one of its provinces.

"But that is not our concern because that’s their own concern," he said.

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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