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Maggie Tien says Taiwan committed to Palau’s development

By Peter Erick Magbanua KOROR, Palau (Island Times, Oct. 10, 2011) – Republic of China (ROC) Ambassador Maggie Tien has expressed commitment that her country will continue to be Palau’s proactive partner in national development.

During the Centennial National Day celebration on Thursday, Tien reiterated that ROC will continue to assist Palau in many fields of development aiming at advancing economic self-sufficiency and livelihood.

[PIR editor’s note: Since establishing diplomatic ties with Palau in 1999, Taiwan has supposedly donated more than $100 million to Palau, which works out to approximately $5,000 per capita.]

ROC and Palau entered into a diplomatic relationship 12 years ago.

"As you can bear witness, there have been remarkable progresses and improvement in areas of agriculture, echoing the green revolution policy of President Toribiong, aquaculture, renewable energy, human capacity building, medical and health care, education, as well as exchanges in culture, youth activities and sports," Tien stated.

Aside from that, Tien committed that ROC will continue to strengthen exchanges and interactions with the international community, especially Palau, through various cultural and academic activities, as well as youth exchanges such as International Youth Ambassadors (AYAIP)

Since 2009, the ROC sends IYAIP youth ambassador for an interactive program to Palau three times yearly and two years in a row that Palau sends Palauan young elites to the Taiwan Study Summer Camp, among other many workshops for fostering human resources.Tien thanked Palau for being a steadfast friend and partner in support of the ROC’s case to participate in the global community, including those UN-affiliated organizations.

Tien said President Toribiong’s cogent statement in the United Nations General Debate in support of Taiwan’s participation in United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation (ICAO), has been whole-heartedly appreciated by the government and people of ROC. And other utterances of justice by Palau’s representatives on various international forums such as Association of Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL), Asian-Pacific Postal Union (APPU), and the unanimous support from the 8th OEK, all have been engraved in the heart of people on Taiwan.

Tien also noted that under the current administration, Palau has managed to implement ROC-grant related projects in accordance with the ROC Government’s guidelines regarding Official Development Assistance (ODA), that is, appropriate motives, due diligence and effective practices.

"It takes two to tango. Let our two peoples continue to tango to an enjoyable melody, while our brotherhood and partnership get more cemented, and our co-prosperity and sustainability are experienced not only by us, but also by our children and many generations to come," Tien said.

In further expressing ROC’s gratitude to Palau for its effort in helping in the reconstruction process in the wake of typhoon Morakot two years ago, Tien presented a book entitled "Rebuilding a Sustainable Homeland with Innovation and United Efforts," to President Toribiong.

Typhoon Morakot devastated Taiwan on August 8, 2009 that flooded many parts of the south of Taiwan under three meters of water and mud. Typhoon Morakot left 699 people dead and 1,766 houses were destroyed. The overall damage was estimated to be around US$6.6 billion while the damage to infrastructure including roads and bridges was approximately US$5.1 billion.

Tien said that the book was recently published to commemorate the immense effort by the international community, including Palau in the reconstruction process.

Palau together with other nations offered messages of condolences and donated funds totaling to US$16 million and 13 countries donated relief supplies. Other countries and international organization sent rescue teams to help in relief efforts and site investigations.

"There have been many notable accomplishments as a result, which has enabled us to provide victims with what they really needed. Six charitable organizations have worked together to help build 2,946 new units of permanent housing or nearly 90 percent of the target," Tien said.

Seven days after the disaster the Republic of China commenced the reconstruction process in just seven days. The Legislative Yuan passed a special law for rebuilding and within three months passed another to allocate a special budget of $3.88 billion before the full scale reconstruction began.

"The book chronicles the unprecedented cooperation among the government, charitable organizations and the people as we built the entire communities together. We are truly grateful to Palau in particular and in general to the international community and organizations for such generous and compassionate assistance, which the people of the Republic of China will forever hold dear to their hearts," Tien said.

Island Times © 2011 Island Times. All rights reserved

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