Tsai’s plans unaffected by political questions in Solomon Islands

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President Tsai Ing-wen interacts with the media in Majuro, the Marshall Islands, on Oct. 30, 2017. Tsai is scheduled to arrive in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday night as the country faces political uncertainty. (CNA)

MAJURO, the Marshall Islands (CNA) – President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) planned visit to the Solomon Islands will proceed as scheduled despite the mass resignation of Cabinet ministers from the government last weekend, a Taiwanese official said Tuesday.

Tsai is scheduled to arrive in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday night as the country faces political uncertainty.

Seven Cabinet ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Manasseh Maelanga, tendered their resignation on Oct. 28, bringing the country’s government to the verge of collapse.

Despite the resignations, however, Tsai will give a speech at the Solomon Islands National Parliament as scheduled on Nov. 2, according to Foreign Minister David Lee (李大維).

Lee said that as far as he knew, the ruling and opposition parties in the Solomon Islands have reached a consensus on continuing diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

In addition, a vote on a no-confidence motion against Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will not be held until Nov. 6, after Tsai has concluded her stay in the country, Lee added.

Maelanga has visited Taiwan and has personally extended an invitation to Tsai to visit his country, according to Lee.

“He is supportive of diplomatic relations with Taiwan,” Lee said.

Tsai and her entourage are on a tour of the Pacific that has

already taken them to Hawaii and the Marshall Islands.

They will visit Tuvalu on Wednesday before heading to the Solomon Islands later in the day, and then travel to the U.S. territory of Guam on Friday for an overnight stay before heading home. 

By Lu Hsin-hui and Evelyn Kao