TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) on Friday in Taipei inked a deal with the Pacific state of the Marshall Islands on promoting Austronesian languages and cultural affairs.
CIP Minister Icyang Parod said the reciprocal agreement envisions exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and the Pacific ally in such fields as languages, cultures, traditional wisdom and skills, economy, and sports.
While discussing shared Austronesian roots of people in both countries, Icyang added that the two nations will also focus their collaboration on tackling climate change and other environmental issues facing the Pacific islands today.
More than 2,000 languages in the world belong to the Austronesian language family. They spread across the Pacific Ocean and are believed by some scholars to have originated from indigenous ancestors in Taiwan.
The Agreement for Cooperation on Austronesian Peoples Cultural Affairs was approved by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan at the end of last year. It is the first bilateral cooperative agreement on cultural affairs signed by CIP with a Pacific partner.
Amenta Matthew, Minister of Culture and Internal Affairs of the Marshall Islands, stated that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands 20 years ago, bilateral exchanges have been close and unique, thanks to the shared principles of democracy and freedom, as well as the shared Austronesian heritage of the two nations.
Matthew also pledged to work closely with CIP in the future to promote the preservation of the Austronesian culture, and people-to-people exchanges between Taiwan and the Marshall Islands.