Nitijela rallies to back ROC

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, fourth from left, and Taiwan Ambassador Jeffery Hsiao, second from left, joined Ministry of Health staff and newly graduated doctors from Taiwan’s I-Shou Medical University at a recent recognition event in Majuro. Photo: Hilary Hosia. 

GIFF JOHNSON

The day after the Solomon Islands rocked the Pacific islands diplomatic world this week by switching ties from Taiwan to China, the Marshall Islands Nitijela (parliament) unanimously adopted a three-page resolution honoring over 20 years of RMI-Taiwan ties.

After talking about a diplomatic switch for months, the Solomons on Monday became the first of the six Pacific island nations with diplomatic relations with Taiwan to change relations to the People’s Republic of China. This reduces the number of nations globally that recognize Taiwan to 16.

The RMI along with Palau, Nauru, Tuvalu and Kiribati continue to recognize Taiwan diplomatically.

The resolution adopted Tuesday by Nitijela was introduced by 19 members last month — both government and opposition senators, indicating the broad-based support for ties with Taiwan in RMI.

The resolution confirmed RMI’s “profound appreciation for the consistently staunch support of the People and Government of Republic of China (Taiwan) as a true friend and ally to the Republic of the Marshall Islands.”

The resolution noted Taiwan’s “unwavering commitment to promoting freedom, democracy and human rights” and its impressive range of assistance — financial, technical, training and scholarships — aimed at developing the Marshall Islands.

The resolution also said the RMI urges the United Nations to take “immediate action to resolve the inappropriate exclusion of Taiwan’s 23 million people from the UN system, cancel the UN’s discriminatory policy against Taiwanese passports holders and journalists, and ensure that Taiwan has the right to participate in an equal and dignified manner in meetings, mechanisms, and activities related to the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Read more about this in the September 20, 2019 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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