Taiwan Embassy in Palau has been awarded the Most Outstanding Foreign Mission in the whole Pacific Area in 2020 by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, revealed Taiwan Ambassador Wallace Chow during the celebration of Republic of China-Taiwan’s 110th National Day last night at Palasia Hotel.

“This is the highest honor for every Embassy or Representative Office in the Ministry and also my first time in my more-than-thirty-year diplomatic career,” Ambassador Chow proudly expressed, recognizing all the Embassy staff to the crowd present at the celebration.

Ambassador Chow also recognized the staff at the Taiwan Technical Mission for their “hardworking attitude and dedication” which he said “greatly enhanced” Taiwan and Palau’s bilateral relations.

Hosting Taiwan’s National Day Reception, the last event in his capacity as Ambassador to Palau, Chow recounted Taiwan’s achievements in the world in 2021 and the milestones achieved in its relationship with Palau.

Noted achievements of Taiwan include experiencing 8.34% economic growth in the first half of this year and a trade surplus of USD 31.8 billion also in the first half of this year.   ADB forecasted Taiwan’s 2021 GDP growth at 6.2%.  IMF (International Monetary Fund) showed that in 2020, Taiwan was the 21st largest economy in the world.

According to Ambassador Chow’s report, Taiwan was ranked as the fourth-best investment destination by Business Environment Risk Intelligence and ranked 8th in the world on the 2021 IMD(Institute for Management Development) World Digital Competitive rankings.

On press freedom, Taiwan is ranked the second-freest country in Asia by Freedom House in 2021 and ranked 1st in Asia in the Freedom on the Netlist.  Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2021, ranked Taiwan 2nd in Asia behind South Korea.

Taiwan had controlled the pandemic well, and after the outbreak in mid-May this year, its government had implement measures to bring the cases under control and successfully flattened the infection curve in 3 months.  For the last 8 days, Taiwan had registered zero domestic confirmed cases.

On the milestones achieved in the relationship between Taiwan and Palau, Ambassador Chow quoted Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen’s statement to President Whipps in his visit in March to Taiwan, “From disease prevention to tourism, our cooperation highlights the long-standing mutual trust between our countries, on whi9ch we have built a reliable model for cooperation.”

Most notably, Ambassador Chow cited the growing “hostile rhetoric and saber-rattling” from China and especially the deployment of two dozen Chinese military aircrafts’ flyover in Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone during the “historic” visit of President Whipps and the US Ambassador to Palau Ambassador Hennessey-Niland in late March.

In the cooperation between the two countries, Chow said that Taiwan “uniquely” situated to assist Palau in the time of COVID which drove Palau’s economy “to the brink” by helping to establish the “sterile corridor” which have not only brought in tourists but also help with the referral of medical patients from Palau to Taiwan which is expected to continue.  “We worked together to show the world how two COVID-safe democratic countries can work to strive for a win-win situation.”

Chow did not fail to note Palau’s support of Taiwan in the international arena, especially President Surangel Whipps vocal support of Taiwan in his address at the 76th United Nations General Assembly where he used the example of sturgeon fish, to call every country in the world to work together in times of crisis.  He called especially for the inclusion of the Taiwanese people’s voice in the UN which Chow said “touched” deeply the Taiwanese people.

“The past nearly 22 years have proven that Taiwan is a sincere and trustworthy partner to Palau.  I firmly believe, as long as we continue to cherish the trust and goodwill, our friendship will flourish further in the future,” expressed Ambassador Wallace Chow, of the Republic of China-Taiwan to Palau.

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