22 Jun 2006

Taiwan's ambassador to the Marshall Islands disappointed by China trip

8:13 pm on 22 June 2006

Taiwan's ambassador to the Marshall Islands says he is disappointed and surprised by the decision of a group of Marshallese Senators to accept an all expenses paid trip to China.

The five senators left last week on the trip paid for by China and which was widely criticized by the pro-Taiwan Marshall Islands government and the Majuro Chamber of Commerce.

Taiwan and the Marshall Islands are diplomatically aligned but Ambassador Lien-gene Chen says the Marshall Islands government could not prevent the senators from going as it was a personal and not a diplomatic visit.

Mr Chen says both the President, Kessai Note, and the Foreign Minister, Gerald Zackios, have expressed their commitment to the relationship between the Marshall Islands and Taiwan.

"They have reassured their firm stance in their capacity that they are against this visit, they are firm with the relationship with Taiwan and they are very satisfied with the cooperation projects we have."