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Taiwan donates frigates to Tuvalu

05/22/2024 06:07 PM
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Taiwan's Ambassador to Tuvalu Andrew Lin (left) and Tuvalu Prime Minister Feleti Teo (center) unveil the two frigates' name during a ceremony in Pingtung County Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 22, 2024
Taiwan's Ambassador to Tuvalu Andrew Lin (left) and Tuvalu Prime Minister Feleti Teo (center) unveil the two frigates' name during a ceremony in Pingtung County Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs May 22, 2024

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan donated two frigates to Tuvalu on Tuesday in southern Taiwan as part of a cooperation plan to strengthen the Pacific island country's ability to patrol its waters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Wednesday.

The naming and handover ceremony of the frigates took place Tuesday in Pingtung County, and was attended by Tuvalu's prime minister, Feleti Teo, who was also present at President Lai Ching-te's (賴清德) inauguration ceremony a day before, MOFA said in a statement.

According to the statement, Taiwan and Tuvalu signed a contract in July 2023 in which Taiwan pledged to donate the two frigates to the Pacific ally.

Taiwan's Ambassador to Tuvalu Andrew Lin (林東亨) handed over the two frigates to Teo, who then announced the frigates were named "Te Kaleva" and "Te Akiaki," both of which are the name of birds native to Tuvalu and mean "perseverance" and "abundant catch," respectively.

In his speech, Teo thanked Taiwan's efforts in enhancing Tuvalu's maritime patrol capabilities and strengthening its marine ecological conservation, the MOFA statement said.

He also emphasized that the two countries have promoted various collaborative projects based on the universal values of democracy, freedom, and the rule of law, and have brought significant results.

Taiwan and Tuvalu also signed an "Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Government of the Tuvalu on Coast Guard Cooperation" in September 2022 to work together on Coast Guard development and the prevention of maritime transnational crime.

MOFA said Taiwan will continue to expand its cooperation with Pacific allies and like-minded countries to jointly create sustainable peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Tuvalu is one of 12 countries in the world that formally recognize the ROC.

(By Henry Wu and Bernadette Hsiao)

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