Palau leader vows to back Taiwan amid ‘mounting aggressions’ in the Pacific
- Island nation’s president offers support to Taipei as Beijing and Washington engage in diplomatic tug of war in region
- Of the 14 countries to maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, four are in the Pacific
Speaking at a welcome ceremony on a visit to Taipei, Palau President Surangel Whipps Jnr praised ties that he said were based on a shared commitment to freedom and democracy.
“The people of Palau deeply value the friendship between our two nations and are committed to supporting Taiwan despite the mounting aggressions in our region,” Whipps said, standing next to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
“In face of attempts by nations to change the international status quo by force, we must continue to work together and encourage international cooperation in order to ease military tensions,” he added.
Taiwan has faced increased military pressure from Beijing, especially since the People’s Liberation Army staged war games near the island in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.
Tsai told Whipps that he was a good friend.
“Taiwan greatly appreciates Palau’s friendship,” she said.
Whipps will attend Taiwan’s national day celebrations on Monday.
In the Pacific, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands have, like Palau, stuck with Taipei.