Delegates from the friendly nation of Taiwan Marshall Islands visited Taichung City Hall yesterday (22nd) led by Minister-in-Assistance to the President & Environment Minister Hon. David Paul. In addition, Mayor Hirata J. Kabua of Kwajalein Atoll was also part of the entourage. Kwajalein Atoll is a sister city of Taichung City. After Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman's visit last month, this is the second mayor of Taichung City's sister city to visit the City Hall since Mayor Shiow-yen Lu assumed office. According to Deputy Mayor Bruce Linghu, Taichung and Kwajalein Atoll are both the second largest city of their respective countries, holding an important political and economic position. Both parties engaged in dialogues pertaining to environmental protection, the marketing of agronomic products, culture, and education, in turn strengthening the bond between the two cities.
Deputy Mayor Linghu pointed out that the Marshall Islands is a friendly nation of Taiwan. In 2007, he was appointed as the Ambassador to the Marshall Islands for 3 years. After returning to the country, he was offered a non-paid position as a special economic consultant of the Marshall Islands, therefore he has developed a close relationship with important officials in the country, and he also has a profound affection for the Marshall Islands. The diplomatic tie between both countries was forged by former Mayor Jason Hu in 1998 during his office as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2002, Taichung City became a sister city of Kwajalein Atoll. According to the Minister-in-Assistance to the President & Environment Minister of the Republic of the Marshall Islands Hon. David Paul, by visiting Taichung City in the company of Mayor of Kwajalein Atoll Hirata J. Kabua and other delegates, he hopes to further enhance the friendship between the two cities. In particular, the development conditions in Kwajalein Atoll and Taichung City are remarkably similar, because both are the second largest city of their respective countries, and both are centrally located, holding a pivotal position.
Mayor of Kwajalein Atoll Hirata J. Kabua commented that for his first visit to Taichung, the most crucial objective is to maintain the friendly sister city relationship, so as to intensify bilateral interactions and foster future collaborations. Deputy Mayor Linghu responded positively by stating that Taichung is ranked second in the country in terms of population and territorial area, it is hoped that both cities can collaborate on issues such as environmental protection, and Taichung will be able to help promote Marshall Islands’ local organic produce and exquisite handicrafts. Minister Hon. David Paul thanked Taiwan for offering assistance on several fronts, including hosting numerous friendly nation vocational training projects, where young Marshallese trainees were invited to receive fundamental knowledge and technical training in Taiwan on disciplines such as auto repair and maintenance, freezing and air conditioning equipment repair and maintenance, or IT equipment repair and maintenance. It is hoped that more collaborative programs will be launched in the future to bring both countries closer.
The Marshallese entourage consists of 6 delegates including Minister-in-Assistance to the President & Environment Minister Hon. David Paul and his wife, Mayor Hirata J. Kabua of Kwajalein Atoll and his wife, Kwajalein Atoll Councilman Jack Akeang, and Kwajalein Atoll Council Clerk Capelle Antibas. Besides visiting the Waipu Expo Site of the Taichung flora expo to gain insight into Taichung’s developments in agriculture and environmental protection technology, the City Hall also arranged for them to visit the Wenshan Recycling and Environmental Education Park (Demonstration of Compost) in order to observe kitchen waste recycling and repurposing facilities, hoping to also make contributions toward protecting the environment.