Taiwan's deputy FM calls on newly elected officials in Tuvalu

11/12/2019 08:47 PM
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Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (right) and Tuvalu's Prime Minister Kausea Natano. Photo courtesy of MOFA

Taipei, Nov. 12 (CNA) A high-level Taiwan foreign policy official recently visited Tuvalu, one of the nation's four allies in the Pacific and met with newly elected government leaders to discuss future cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Tuesday.

Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉) visited Tuvalu Nov. 5-7, MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said during a regular press conference that day.

Hsu met with Tuvalu's new Prime Minister Kausea Natano, acting Governor-General Teniku Talesi and Foreign Minister Simon Kofe, among others, according to Ou.

Tuvalu held a general elections on Sept. 9, about a week before Taiwan lost two Pacific Island diplomatic allies, the Solomon Islands and Kiribati, to China.

Ten days after the election, Natano was voted Prime Minister by a parliamentary majority, replacing Enele Sopoaga, a Taiwan-leaning politician who held the position for six years.

Although Natano's Taiwan position is not as clear cut as his predecessor, Ou said the Tuvalu government reiterated its friendly ties with Taiwan during Hsu's discussions with Tuvalu officials.

According to Ou, several Taiwan Digital Opportunity Centers (TDOCs) will be set up in Tuvalu, to provide training on information and communication technology for local youth and workers.

Hsu also thanked the Tuvalu government for its support of Taiwan's efforts to secure international participation, she said.

While in Tuvalu, Hsu visited the Republic of China (Taiwan) embassy in Funafuti, Tuvalu's capital city, as well as Taiwan health centers and technical missions.

Meanwhile, Ou said Kofe is set to visit Taiwan from Nov. 16-21. However, final details are still being ironed out, she added.

(By Emerson Lim)


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