Taiwan, Nauru sign sea patrol cooperation agreement

NAURU, March 25 (CNA) – Taiwan and its diplomatic ally Nauru signed an agreement Monday to collaborate on marine patrols and allow Taiwanese patrol vessels to conduct onboard inspections and other law enforcement operations on the high seas.

The pact was signed by Taiwan’s Coast Guard Administration (CGA) Director-General Chen Guo-en (陳國恩) and Nauru Police Commissioner Corey Caleb, in the presence of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and her Nauruan counterpart Baron Divavesi Waqa.

Tsai is currently on an eight-day visit to Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands. She flew to Nauru from Palau on Sunday for a two-day stay and will leave for the Marshall Islands on Tuesday.

After the signing ceremony, Chen told reporters that the newest pact means Taiwan has forged cooperative ties on sea patrols with the three Pacific allies. The Taiwan-Marshall Islands pact was inked in July 2018.

The agreements, based on regulations laid out by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), allow Taiwan’s Coast Guard personnel patrolling waters in the region to conduct onboard inspections of vessels from Taiwan or the Pacific allies with whom bilateral agreements have been signed, Chen said.

Such checks will be conducted on vessels suspected of violating WCPFC rules, Chen said.

The agreement also covers the exchange and training of Coast Guard personnel in the two countries, added Chen.

On Monday evening, Tsai attended a state banquet hosted by Waqa, to whom she presented seedlings of Taiwan’s endemic phalaenopsis orchid as a gift.

Tsai said she hoped bilateral relations between Taiwan and Nauru can be like the orchid, which she described as beautiful and resilient in the face of challenges.

She also extended her congratulations to the country on the 50th anniversary of its independence and expressed hope for an everlasting friendship between the two allies.

By Wen Kuei-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu