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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hsu Szu-chien last week visited Tuvalu and discussed a plan to establish a Taiwan Digital Opportunity Centre, while Tuvalu also reaffirmed its ties with Taiwan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday.
The Pacific country of about 11,000 people in September held a general election that resulted in pro-Taiwan former Tuvaluan prime minister Enele Sopoaga being replaced, sparking concern that Taipei might face another diplomatic crisis.
After the Solomon Islands and Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing within a week of each other in September, Taiwan now maintains formal ties with 15 countries, including Tuvalu, Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.
During Hsu’s trip from Tuesday to Thursday last week, high-ranking Tuvaluan officials reaffirmed their country’s ties with Taiwan, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou told a news briefing in Taipei
Hsu met with Acting Tuvaluan Governor-General Teniku Talesi, Tuvaluan Prime Minister Kausea Natano, Tuvaluan Deputy Prime Minister Minute Taupo and Tuvaluan Minister for Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe, among others, for discussions about furthering bilateral collaboration, she said.
Regarding the new Tuvaluan government’s introduction of priority tasks for its first 100 days in office and a four-year development blueprint, Hsu expressed admiration for its proactive efforts to promote reforms and innovation, Ou said.
He also discussed with local officials a plan to establish the center to help boost Tuvalu’s information and communications capabilities, as well as its computerization and digitalization, she said.
During his stay in Tuvalu, Hsu invited Tuvaluan Cabinet members to a banquet and attended a farewell party by Kofe, she added.
The ministry has invited Kofe to visit Taiwan later this month, Ou said, adding that the exact date would be revealed after the plans have been finalised.
SOURCE: TAIWAN NEWS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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