Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光) is visiting the Cook Islands for a week to take part in an event that coincides with the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Monday .
Tien is visiting the Pacific island from Nov. 6 to 13 to participate in the “Taiwan/ROC-Forum Countries Dialogue,” being held alongside the PIF meeting, MOFA said in a statement.
The diplomat will act on behalf of Taiwan’s government in interacting with the leaders of its four formal diplomatic allies — the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu — that are members of the PIF, to enhance bilateral ties and discuss future cooperation.
The PIF is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between countries and territories of Oceania, including the formation of a trade bloc and regional peacekeeping operations.
It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum (SPF), and changed its name in 1999 to its current name to be more inclusive of the forum’s membership that spans island countries in both the North and South Pacific, including Australia.
The 52nd Pacific Islands Forum Meeting is being held in Rarotonga, Cook Islands from Nov. 6 to 10 under the theme “Our Voices, Our Choices, Our Pacific Way: Promote, Partner, Prosper.”
Despite not being a member, Taiwan has taken part in the forum’s affiliated or side events as a “development partner” under the name of “Taiwan/Republic of China” since 1993, according to MOFA.
(By Joseph Yeh)