US envoy joins Palau president on Taiwan trip

On his first official trip overseas since taking office, President Surangel Whipps Jr. invited United States Ambassador to the Republic of Palau, Ambassador John Hennessey-Niland, and his wife to accompany his official delegation to the Republic of China, Taiwan.
The official visit was to inaugurate the first travel bubble or “sterile corridor” tourism travel between Palau and Taiwan.
The travel itinerary for President Whipps and his delegation shows a full schedule of meetings and visits, including a call to President Tsai Ing-Wen of the Republic of China-Taiwan.
When asked about his travel to Taiwan, US Ambassador Niland said they were invited by President Whipps.
It is not known if Ambassador Niland will accompany President Whipps on all of his visits, including the meeting with President Tsai Ing-Wen, but this is said to be the first visit of the US Ambassador to Taiwan since 1979.
In a separate news report from Xinhua, a state-owned news company from China quoted a Chinese official urging United States not to “break China’s bottom line”, honor the One-China policy and stop official exchanges with Taiwan in reference to Ambassador Niland’s visit to Taiwan with President Whipps.
Given the tough posturing and threats from China toward Taiwan, Palau’s President Whipps’ presence in Taiwan accompanied by the US Ambassador, an unusual occurence, reflects unmistakable alliance between Palau, the Republic of China-Taiwan, and the United States.
Yesterday, Taiwan Defence Ministry reported 10 Chinese military aircrafts flying into Taiwan’s airspace, few minutes after President Whipps made speech about China.
President Whipps’ official delegation includes First Lady Valerie Whipps, Surangel Whipps Sr., Senator Mason Whipps, US Ambassador Hennessey-Niland and his wife, and Republic of China Ambassador Wallace Chow, Senate Vice President Senator Kerai Mariur, Delegate Vicky Kanai, COS Landisang Kotaro, Gustav Aitaro(Foreign Affairs Advisor), Ngiraibelas Tmetuchel(PVA), Kadoi Ruluked (PVA), Ziske Asanuma (Legislative Liason), Kione Isechal(Special Economic Advisor), Terrence Ruluked (Special Economic Advisor), Glenn Seid(Special Economic Advisor), Jeffrey Titimel (Special Economic Advisor), Gaafar Uherbelau (HPRD Administrator MOH), Dr. Victor Yano (Chairman, HCF) and Kambes Kesolei (Palau Media Counsel).
President Whipps Jr. and his delegation will be returning on Thursday, April 1st with the first “travel bubble tourists” from Taiwan.

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