BY LYNTON AARON FILIA
SOLOMON Islanders in Taiwan took part in the 2017 Asia-Pacific Cultural Day held at the Taipei Main Station, raising the country’s profile through showcasing on the Asia-Pacific level.
Local students of SI, staff of the embassy and members of the high-level delegation to the 2017 Nihao had a field day promoting Solomon Islands in the country’s booth.
Taiwanese Premier Mr Lai Ching-Te and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr David Lee were impressed to see Solomon Islands’ arts and craft, and spent time at the SI booth seeking to know more of our culture.
The Asia-Pacific Cultural Day is organised by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an annual festival which is currently on its sixth year, with the previous event drawing up to 100,000 visitors.
The two-day event convened features on dancing and music with cuisines from six ROC diplomatic allies—Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu—as well as 13 other Asia-Pacific countries.
The Minister for Taiwan Foreign Affairs, Dr David Lee said organising the event is a government effort to strengthen ties with Republic of China (Taiwan) diplomatic allies and partners throughout the region in line with the new Southbound Policy.
He adds, the event will give people of Taiwan the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of the nation’s allies and partners and serve as a platform for fostering cultural exchanges.
Solomon Islands Permanent Secretary for Culture and Tourism, Andrew Nihopara said, “Solomon Islands’ presence and participation at the 2 days event in Taipei presents a great opportunity to be amongst ROC (Taiwan) allied to demonstrate collaboration and partnership through cultural exchanges and sharing.”
He adds SI presence at the UNGA also reiterates the country’s stance and support for ROC (Taiwan) to recognise Taiwan at the UN level as widely publicised in the Taipei Times.
With participation of SI students studying in Taiwan at the cultural event, Mr Nihopara said it also highlights commitment of our children studying in Taiwan to their ambassadorial roles as Solomon Islanders.
He said the Asia-Pacific platform for cultural cooperation and exchange can be further utilised in the future to expose other SI cultures and artistic talents.
Meanwhile, the initiative aims to deepen Taiwan’s relations with 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand in areas spanning agriculture, business, culture, education, tourism and trade.