08/27/2022 09:42 PM

Taipei, Aug. 27 (CNA) J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, the vice president of Palau, arrived in Taiwan on Saturday for a five-day visit, her first to the country since taking office in 2021.

The delegation led by Senior, who also serves as Palau’s justice minister, was welcomed by Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) at Taoyuan International Airport at around 8:30 p.m.

“It’s a pleasure to be here, and I thank the government and the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for this opportunity to come to Taiwan for an official visit,” she said upon arrival.

She said she looked forward to strengthening bilateral relations with Taiwan “in the areas of justice, maritime security and public safety,” and that her delegation would engage with Taiwan’s national center for disaster reduction to discuss climate change and disaster resilience.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) earlier this week, Senior will meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) and attend a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮).

She will also visit Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice, as well as government agencies handling emergency responses, such as the Coast Guard Administration and Central Emergency Operation Center, MOFA said.

The Palauan vice president and her delegation will be in Taiwan until Aug. 31.

The Pacific island country is one of 14 states to still maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

The two countries have had close ties since establishing formal diplomatic relations in 1999, MOFA said, and have cooperated on agriculture, infrastructure, information technology, clean energy, education, and public health.

(By Matt Yu and Ko Lin)