Prior to the meeting with United States President Donald Trump, President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. told the media that Palau and other close allies of the US would like to see the latter invest in their private sector other than the government federal assistance.

In an interview with the media at the sideline of the United Nations Secretary General meeting with the Pacific leaders in Fiji last week, Remengesau said that US allies would like to see US’ investments in the private sector which can help in the island nations’ economic growth.

“Our message in our talk with our friends from the US is that they always said that there has to be a stronger US presence in the Pacific, we want to see that happen. There are so many things that the US can show leadership but as you can see China is the main nation showing initiatives and aggressively coming to the Pacific and establishing their mark,” Remengesau said in the interview.

However, Remengesau reiterated that Palau would also like to be “friends with everybody”, adding that it wanted to continue to welcome Chinese visitors to its shores and also to become “productive partner in maintaining peace and security throughout the world.”

“For all of us who are friends with Taiwan, we appreciate that we’re trading with them, we’re promoting tourists to Palau and we share principles and values but that’s a good thing,” Remengesau said.

Palau has been a longtime ally of Taiwan while the latter continues to assert sovereignty as a nation and stand up against the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who insists that it is but its breakaway province.(Rhealyn C. Pojas)