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Representatives from Pacific allies visit Taiwan to promote ties

2012/07/11 16:04:50

Taipei, July 11 (CNA) A group of representatives from Taiwan's diplomatic allies in the Pacific is visiting Taiwan to learn more about the country's development, as part of Taiwan's cultural diplomacy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.

Twenty-eight people from Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu are taking part in a "Taiwan Study Camp," in which they will attend seminars on Taiwan-China ties, democracy, economy, health care and a variety of other topics, the ministry said.

Participants in the 10-day camp that began two days earlier will also meet Taiwanese who have taken part in "youth ambassador" programs overseas, said James Tien, director-general of the ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Among the camp-goers, all of whom are visiting Taiwan for the first time, is Jacob Yangilmau, governor of Sonsorol State in Palau.

The seminars are helping him learn about the development of Taiwan's democracy and economy, Yangilmau said, adding that they are useful experiences for his position as a state governor.

Asked about what has impressed him the most about Taiwan, Yangilmau cited Taiwan's transport infrastructure and the hospitality of the people.

"Since the camp kicked off on Monday, we've gained a better sense of Taiwan's economic and cultural achievements," said Denise de Brum, a participant from the Marshall Islands.

Other participants in the camp include government officials at the middle and basic levels, members of the media and business representatives.

They are scheduled to visit a vegetable center, the Council of Agriculture's Fisheries Research Institute, Konta Integrated Network Engineering Co. Ltd., the National Center for Traditional Arts and the World Vision Taiwan charity group, the ministry said.

Initiated in 2010, the camp is aimed at strengthening the ties of friendship between Taiwan and its Pacific allies and to increase understanding of Taiwan, according to the ministry.

(By Elaine Hou)