Palau ambassador calls for strategies to counter China
Jul 23, 2018GeneralComments Off on Palau ambassador calls for strategies to counter China
Taipei, Large democratic countries around the world should adopt strategies to counter China's bullying, particularly of small developing countries like Palau, the country's ambassador to Taiwan Dilmei Louisa Olkeriil said recently.
Olkeriil's comments came as Palau Pacific Airways decided to suspend operations, ending service to Hong Kong and to Macau through the island of Bali (its only destinations) due to a drop in Chinese visitors.
The drop in visitor arrivals was the result of Beijing's ban on group tours to Palau imposed in November 2017 because of the Pacific-island nation's diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The "majority of Palau people supports the current diplomatic relations with Taiwan. We are a democratic country and we support and promote our relationship with countries with same system of government such as Taiwan," Olkeriil told CNA.
"Everyone knows that China pressures other countries and international organizations not to support Taiwan, organizations like the United Nations, World Health Organization, and World Health Assembly."
Hospitals in Taiwan have saved lives of thousands of Palauan people, and as such, it would be difficult for us to break ties with Taiwan, Olkeriil said.
Taiwan and Palau established formal ties in 1999 and have collaborated since then in areas spanning agriculture, green energy, medical and health care, talent cultivation and tourism.
According to Palau's Bureau of Immigration statistics, visitor arrivals from China totaled 70,741 in 2016, 55,491 in 2017, and 25,659 in the first six months of 2018.