Updated: Sep 24
By Mar-Vic Cagurangan
Palau President Surangel Whipps Jr. has endorsed Taiwan's membership in the United Nations amid China's persistent campaign to block its renegade province's acceptance into the intergovernmental body.
"We encourage the UN system to accept Taiwan as a valuable contributor to our collective efforts and strongly advocate for Taiwan’s participation in the UN system," Whipps said at the UN General Assembly's 76th Session.
Palau is among the 15 UN member-states that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
In his remarks, Whipps highlighted Taiwan’s contribution to the global response against Covid-19.
"Not only have they demonstrated consistent and effective management of the pandemic within their borders, but their leadership has also extended to Palau," Whipps said. "Taiwan’s international response facilitated cooperation and implementation of an effective sterile travel corridor between Taiwan and Palau."
The travel bubble between Palau and Taiwan, which was forged during Whipps' visit to Taipei in March, went into effect last month.
"This sterile corridor has allowed Taiwan and Palau to resume medical and educational cooperation, and recoup economic engagement and other benefits of international travel," Whipps said.
Palau's diplomatic relations with Taiwan prompted China to ban state-run package tours from visiting the Pacific nation in 2017.