29 Jan 2008

Taiwanese Vice President begins four day trip to Pacific in the Marshalls

12:03 pm on 29 January 2008

Taiwan's Vice President, Annette Lu will arrive in Majuro this

morning, at the start of a two-day visit to the Marshall Islands.

The trip is part of a four-nation Pacific visit that aims to cement ties with new heads of state in the region.

She is to arrive on a chartered China Airlines flight, and spend two nights in Majuro before flying to Nauru, Solomon Islands and Palau.

The visit comes against the backdrop of the recent diplomatic switch of former Taiwan ally Malawi to China, reducing the number of nations that recognize Taiwan to 23.

The new Marshall Islands President, Litokwa Tomeing, had announced before the elections last November that he wanted end the Marshall Island's 10-year diplomatic relationship with Taiwan in favour of ties with China.

But the Our Islands party-led coalition that voted him into office in January is strongly pro-Taiwan.