By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
The Marshall Islands has reiterated its support for Taiwan’s plea to rejoin the United Nations and other international organizations as it vowed to continue being “a staunch ally” of the beleaguered nation in the face of “external intimidation.”
"The Republic of China, Taiwan, is an important friend and ally of the Republic of the Marshall Islands," said Marshall Islands Foreign Affairs Minister Kitlang Kabua, who heads a delegation currently visiting Taipei.
"Our leaders forged this relationship on shared values and democratic principles and respect for human rights,” the Central News Agency quoted Kabua as saying.
Kabua said her visit signified a strong relationship between the Marshall Islands and Taiwan as they mark the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.
"I wish to assure you that the Republic of the Marshall Islands will remain a staunch ally and continue to voice support for Taiwan's inclusion in the United Nations and all other regional and international organizations," Kabua said.
Taiwan was a founding member of the UN in 1949 until it was replaced by China in 1971 following a resolution that pushed the democratic province to the periphery.
Taiwan has since been the world’s dilemma. Its democratic system of government suits well with many democratic nations, but its status as a sovereign nation remains an unresolved issue.
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In 2007, the UN rejected Taiwan’s plea for inclusion in the body, maintaining that "Taiwan is part of China."
Taiwan banked on its allies in the Pacific islands region to back its renewed bid for readmission into the United Nations, which China has been so adamant to hinder. The few loyal friends stood by Taiwan’s side.
“The Marshall Islands strongly condemns these actions that endanger regional and global security and peace,” Kabua said during her meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the Presidential Office in Taipei on April 13.
Kabua also met with her Taiwanese counterpart, Joseph Wu. The meeting was capped by the signing of the Diplomatic Staff Training Cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding regarding the Adaptation and Contingency Fund for Climate Change.
Officials said the sealing of the bilateral accords further deepened the diplomatic ties between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands.
China has been aggressively campaigning against what it claims to be a breakaway province, managing to keep Taiwan in the desert land.
The Marshall Islands is one of the 13 sovereign states that recognize Taiwan, which is increasingly getting isolated following Honduras' recent switch to China.
Last week, the Federated States of Micronesia's parliament defeated outgoing President David Panuelo's initiative to switch diplomacy to Taiwan after voting in favor of retaining the country's ties with China.