Tuvalu News


By Sofia Wu

TAIPEI, Taiwan (April 18, 2002 Taiwan Central News Agency)---President Chen Shui-bian
met with visiting Tuvalu Prime Minister Koala Talake Thursday to exchange views on
matters of mutual concern.

President Chen extended a warm welcome to Talake, saying his visit indicates the
importance that Tuvalu has attached to its relations with the Republic of China.

This is Talake's second trip to Taiwan since he assumed office in mid-2001.

Tuvalu established formal diplomatic ties with the ROC less than a year after gaining
its independence in 1978.

Over the past 23 years, Chen said the two countries have maintained close and cordial

Chen attributed the solid friendship between the two countries mainly to their common
belief in such universal values as freedom, democracy and human rights.

Sitting at a strategically important location in the South Pacific, Tuvalu is blessed
with rich marine resources. The country also boasts stable politics and ranks among the
countries with the world's best human rights records.

Tuvalu was admitted to the United Nations in September 2000, becoming the 189th UN
member. It has since spared no efforts in speaking in support of the ROC's bids to join
the United Nations and other major international organizations.

Chen told Talake that the ROC government and people appreciate his country's staunch
support for Taiwan's increased presence in the world arena.

"We also hope that our bilateral cooperation in various fields, including deep sea
fishing, can be further expanded," Chen added.

For his part, Talake said he is impressed by Taiwan's economic prosperity and
democratic development.

"I think my country has much to learn from Taiwan in terms of economic development," he

Talake also assured Chen that Tuvalu will continue its unswerving support for Taiwan's
bid to join major international bodies, including the United Nations and the World
Health Organization.

Talake arrived in Taipei Tuesday for a weeklong visit aimed at promoting bilateral
trade and cooperation in diverse fields. Talake is being accompanied by a seven-member
entourage on his visit.

During their stay, the visitors from the South Pacific island nation will meet with
senior ROC officials and tour major cultural and economic establishments before
departing April 22.

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