03 November 2017
The exchange of gifts by Sir Frank Kabui and President Tsai Ing-wen at the Government House. [Photo: Government Communications Unit]

Solomon Islands leaders on Thursday have spoken highly of the growing cordial relations with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan as they welcomed President Tsai Ing-wen to Honiara.

Her Excellency, President Tsai Ing-wen is in the Solomon Islands as part of her tour of three pacific allies including the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu.

President Tsai began her Official engagements in Honiara this morning with the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui at Government House, the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at the Prime Minister’ s Office and the speaker of the National Parliament Ajilon Nasiu before addressing Parliament.

At a State Luncheon in honor of the ROC President, Sir Frank said the people of Solomon Islands have heard much about Taiwan.

“We are happy to see you in Honiara and for others in the country knowing that you have come to visit us is knowledge enough that you show interest in us and our country,” Sir Frank said.

Speaking of Taiwan’s ongoing support towards Solomon Islands on both the bilateral and multilateral fronts, Sir Frank said the people of Solomon Islands are most grateful for these assistance programs which have been expressed in different ways and in various forums at different times over the years.   

“Our two countries can now safely claim to be democracies in which human rights, the rule of law, peace, security, equality of opportunity are values of human decency and wholesomeness in society.  Both our countries do subscribe to these values dearly,” Sir Frank said.

Similarly, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare conveyed appreciation towards the Government of Taiwan for its continuous support towards the development of Solomon Islands and the warm mutual relations both countries maintain to enjoy over 34 years.

Prime Minister Sogavare reaffirmed Solomon Islands support for Taiwan and also indicated the significance and room for greater cooperation especially in the area of trade.

At the multilateral front, Prime Minister Sogavare said the world cannot overlook the willingness and readiness of the 23 million people Taiwan in contributing to a range of international issues. 

He said Solomon Islands remains adamant in giving that chance to Taiwan, and remains committed towards supporting Taiwan’s bid for membership in key International Organizations such as the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the United Nations Framework for Climate Change.

“The future of Solomon Islands and the Republic of China (Taiwan) relations is filled with promising prospects, and I am optimistic that the fruits of this relationship will grow to greater heights,” Sogavare said.

In Parliament, Speaker Ajilon Nasiu said Taiwan is indeed a true friend of Solomon Islands by contributing towards infrastructure projects that supports the foundation of democracy in the country.

Mr Nasiu highlighted the construction of the Sir Paul Tovua complex as a fine example of Taiwan’s contribution towards democracy where members of Parliament and their constituents can interact meaningfully.

Besides these official engagements, President Tsai also visited the Taiwan Technical Farm east of Honiara and the Taiwan Medical Center at the National Referral Hospital to see firsthand the technical assistance that her country has injected into these areas over the years.

President Tsai is scheduled to officiate at a ground breaking ceremony tomorrow to mark the start of construction of the National Craft Center at the National Art Gallery in Honiara before making a brief visit to the US War Memorial at Skyline Ridge.

The President and her delegation depart Honiara on Friday.

- Government Communications Unit