The signing of MOUs on sister city relations took place on September 30th in the Republic of Palau, one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, between Sandimen Township of Pingtung County, the Angaur State and Ngchesar State of Palau. Secretary-General Akiku.Haisum of the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP), Taiwan Ambassador Wallace Chow to the Republic of Palau and Human Resource, Culture, Tourism and Development Minister Ngirai Tmetuchl of Palau were among the guests in attendance as the MOUs were signed by Sandimen Township Mayor Cemelesai.Ljaljegan, Governor Kennosuke A. Suzuky of Angaur State, and Governor Florencio Adelbai of Ngchesar State. This is the first time that CIP has facilitated the establishment of sister city relations between an Indigenous township in Taiwan and an Austronesian country since CIP began its efforts to promote Austronesian exchange.

         The Indigenous peoples of Taiwan and Palau enjoy close cooperative relations. During a trip to Taiwan in 2019, Senator Regis Akitaya of Angaur State and Governor Florencio Adelbai of Ngchesar State visited Pingtung to survey Indigenous industry and travel development as well as cultural preservation work. Having been deeply impressed by what they saw, the Palauan delegation initiated the signing of a sister city MOU with Sandimen Township and also invited Sandimen Township Mayor CemelesaiLjaljegan to head a delegation to Palau.

  The Sandimen Township office originally planned on making the trip to Palau for the MOU signing in 2020 but the trip was delayed due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. With the relaunch of the Taiwan-Palau travel bubble and the celebrations arranged for Palau’s 27th independence anniversary, His Excellency Surangel Whipps, Jr., President of the Republic of Palau particularly invited the whole delegation to attend the October 1st Independence Day events. Bilung Gloria Salii of Palau has also arranged for the delegates to take part in the Mechesil Belau Conference. There is no doubt that these events will bring Taiwan and Palau closer in terms of cooperation and exchange on Indigenous affairs as well as providing opportunities for learning and mutual development in agriculture, culture, education, and trade for the local governments on both sides.

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