31 Jan 2005

Taiwan and Solomon Islands sign joint communique in Honiara over mutual co-operation

2:10 pm on 31 January 2005

Taiwan and Solomon Islands have signed a joint communique in Honiara to continue their mutual co-operation and bilateral arrangements.

The Taiwanese President, Chen Shui-Bian, signed the communique with the Solomon islands prime minister, Sir Allan Kemakeza, today in a move which concludes Mr Chen's three day visit to Honiara.

The president also addressed the national parliament this morning.

Koro Vaka'uta reports

"Mr Chen said Taiwan would continue to play an active and constructive role in the process of construction and development in Solomon Islands."

The president's visit was the first by Taiwan's head of state since the two countries established diplomatic ties nearly twenty years ago.

His delegation included the Foreign Minister Chen Tan-San and 68 other high-ranking officials.

Among other objectives, Mr Chen said he would like to help Solomon Islands become self reliant in rice production within five to ten years.

The Solomon Island's Governor-General, Sir Nathaniel Waena, also re-assured Taiwan of his country's support of its participation in international affairs.

Taiwan has been an important aid donor to the Solomons government since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1983.

Mr Chen will fly to Brisbane this afternoon.