Taiwan to establish digital center in Tuvalu to bolster ties

Tuvalu one of Taiwan's 4 remaining Pacific allies after China poached 2 in September

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Hsu Szu-chien (left) meets Simon Kofe.

Hsu Szu-chien (left) meets Simon Kofe. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan plans to build a digital center in Tuvalu following a trip last week to the Oceanic nation by the Taiwanese Deputy Foreign Minister Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉).

Hsu visited Tuvalu in a move to solidify bilateral relations after the Pacific ally's election of a new prime minister, Kausea Natano, in September and amid fears that it could switch recognition to Beijing. Neighboring Kiribati and the Solomon Islands severed ties with Taiwan in favor of China in September, leaving the island country with four remaining allies in the region: Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau, and the Marshall Islands.

The deputy minister expressed his gratitude to Tuvalu for its long-standing support of Taiwan in international affairs. He discussed future collaboration projects with local officials and announced plans to establish the Taiwan Digital Opportunity Center (TDOC) in the country, wrote CNA.

The facility will serve to help Tuvalu improve its ICT infrastructure and services, said Joanne Ou (歐江安), spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

During his sojourn, Hsu met with Acting Governor-General Teniku Talesi, Prime Minister Natano, Deputy Prime Minister Minute Taupo, and Foreign Minister Simon Kofe, according to the report. Hsu also inspected Taiwan’s technical missions stationed in the Pacific nation.

Simon Kofe is expected to pay a reciprocal visit to Taiwan between Nov. 16 and 21. Details are being hammered out between the two sides, reported CNA.