President David Kabua and a delegation left the Marshall Islands Monday afternoon on a Taiwan government-chartered flight to Taipei to launch a five-day state visit.
The state visit, at the invitation of the Taiwan government, will run through March 25. This is the President’s first state visit to Taiwan since taking office in 2020. Accompanied by the Taiwan Ambassador Jeffrey SC Hsiao and Madam Jasmine Hsiao, the RMI delegation includes the President, First Lady Ginger Kabua, Foreign Minister Casten Nemra and Terry Nemra, Nitijela Member Joe Bejang and Mary Bejang and four staff.
During the RMI delegation’s stay in Taiwan, the ROC President Dr. Tsai Ing-wen formally welcomed President Kabua and his delegation with full military honors on the morning of March 22, before awarding him the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Taiwan-Marshall Islands bilateral relationship. The same day, President Tsai hosted a state luncheon at the Presidential Office for the visiting delegation, at which discussions were held on bilateral cooperation and issues of mutual concern.
The Taiwan government in a statement said it highly values President Kabua’s visit, which further strengthens both countries’ partnership and continued cooperation, advances the well-being of the people of both countries, and deepens bilateral international engagement, showing the spirit of the two maritime nations with honor and dignity.
Taiwan has been recognized as the Taiwan Model for its successful anti-pandemic measures. To ensure safe travel, a private jet was chartered for the RMI delegation’s direct flight to Taiwan. During their stay in Taiwan, the RMI delegation also moved in a “Diplomatic Bubble” under a set of strict pandemic preventive measures.
Taiwan President Tsai announced Tuesday, as part of an official welcome for President David Kabua and his delegation, plans to establish the Taiwan-Marshall Islands Adaptation and Contingency Fund for Climate Change.
“Moving forward, our countries will conduct more exchanges and cooperation on green infrastructure, disaster warning systems, and personnel training,” said Tsai. “Together, we will build a resilient system for adaptation and response.”
In addition, during the five-day state visit to Taiwan, the two governments are expected to complete amendments to a bilateral agricultural technical cooperation agreement.
President Tsai emphasized that Taiwan will work together with the Marshall Islands to lay “a firm foundation for our nations’ sustainable development, contributing even more to global progress.”
President Kabua highlighted the bond of democracy and freedom that tightly links the RMI and Taiwan. “The Republic of China (Taiwan) is an important ally and friend of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and we are proud of what we have achieved together in promoting and strengthening our shared values, democratic principles, and respect for human rights,” he said to President Tsai during their formal exchange of remarks.
Kabua said he would be presenting the Taiwan President with a “resolution by the people and government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands reiterating our appreciation for the support of the people and government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and calling on the United Nations to take immediate action to resolve the inappropriate exclusion of Taiwan’s 23.6 million people from the United Nations system.” This resolution was adopted unanimously by Nitijela a week ago Friday in anticipation of the President’s visit.
Tsai welcomed Kabua and his delegation with full military honors Tuesday morning in Taipei. The welcome ceremony was held in the plaza fronting the Presidential Office. Following a 21-gun salute, the two presents delivered their remarks. The event also included the playing of the national anthems of both countries.
Following a welcome ceremony with military honors and bilateral talks, President Tsai accompanied by Vice President Lai Ching-te, conferred a a special award on President Kabua and hosted a state luncheon in honor of President and First Lady at the Presidential Office.
In remarks at the event, President Tsai thanked President Kabua for his tremendous efforts to advance the friendship between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands, and for his unwavering support for Taiwan’s international participation. President Tsai also expressed hope that the two countries will continue to support each other in the international community and cooperate closely on national development.
During the decoration ceremony, President Tsai personally conferred the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon upon President Kabua, and then delivered remarks. She noted that the Marshall Islands was the “first diplomatic ally in the Pacific that I visited after taking office more than five years ago.” She added that she’d been to RMI twice.
In his remarks, President Kabua commented on the bonds of democracy and rule of law.
“In this day and age, when our common humanity stands at the brink of collapse, and the future is uncertain, it is incumbent on all of us to do our part to preserve, protect, and promote our shared ideals of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law,” he said. “I believe that unless we are able to safeguard these most basic tenets, our common future cannot be assured. There is an old Marshallese adage, it goes like this ‘an piliñliñ koba komman lometo,’ which translates to ‘many drops together make a mighty ocean.’ This means that every nation, regardless of size, wealth, or standing in the world must be allowed to contribute to our common global humanity. The Republic of China (Taiwan) too must be given every opportunity to be a contributing member of the international community of nations, especially the United Nations. We reiterate our message that this shameful silence must end.”
Among those in attendance at the banquet were Secretary-General to the President David T. Lee, National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo, Senior Advisor to the President Koo Kwang-ming, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod, National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Szu-chien, Ocean Affairs Council Deputy Minister and Coast Guard Administration Director-General Chou Mei-wu, Ambassador to the Marshall Islands Jeffrey SC Hsiao, and Marshall Islands Ambassador Neijon Rema Edwards.