BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
ISLAND Sun, yesterday had the opportunity to speak with Solomon Islands Speaker of the National Parliament, Hon Ajilon Jasper Nasiu about his recent trip to Taiwan.
Loretta—when did you travel to Taiwan?
Speaker—we travelled to Taiwan on Jan 28th, arrived in Taiwan on Jan 29th and returned on Feb 3rd.
Loretta—was this an official trip?
Speaker, Hon Ajilon— this was an official trip, in fact the Taiwan Embassy in Solomon Islands offered 2 trips. This is the first trip which I led and the second will be headed by the Prime Minister.
Loretta—who did you meet in Taiwan?
Speaker, Hon Ajilon—we met a few people while we were there, but the most important ones we met include the President of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan who we met on Tues, 30th Jan. On Wed 31st Jan, we met with Taiwan’s President, Her Excellency Tsai Ing-wen.
We also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and doctors from Kaohsiung Medical University who carried out medical checks on some of the members of our delegation.
Loretta—what is the main purpose of your trip to Taiwan?
Speaker, Hon Ajilon—the purpose of the trip is mainly to seal or consolidate the friendship between Solomon Islands and Taiwan because we are friends for 35 years now. Since 1983, we established diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
So the idea is for Solomon Islands leaders to go and see Taiwan and her leaders. Likewise, we also invite Taiwan to come over to Solomon Islands so that our friendship and relations remains firm.
I also appreciate how they treated us during our stay in Taiwan. They were very friendly and executed great hospitality. How they looked after us was next to none.
One thing that really impressed me was the site of Taiwan’s infrastructure. Even as a young country, Taiwan is impressive with it’s infrastructure development.
They are here to help us. In fact, they built our hospital and also promised to build a stadium in the country for us to host the 2023 Pacific Games.
So we want them to help us especially in sectors like infrastructure, health services and education. They have the technology and expertise.
Loretta—did you meet with the Solomon Islands students who are studying in Taiwan?
Speaker, Hon Ajilon—we didn’t have the time to meet with our students, but heard that they are enjoying their stay in Taiwan and encourage that we send more of our students to study in Taiwan.
Loretta—did you visit any sites in Taiwan?
Speaker, Hon Ajilon—yes, we visited 2 museums in Taiwan. One was about Taiwanese custom and culture. There was also a section for Solomon Islands which we really enjoyed that had shell money and other items. The other was science related, filled with all kinds of plants and animal remains. This museum like the first one also had a section for Solomon Islands.
There was Taiwanese Doctor who came to Solomon Islands, went to Makira as well as to other places in the country and collected orchids and information about plants.
They expressed that our plants may have value and components vital for medical use hence will continue their study on this and will probably visit Solomon Islands again.
We also went to Sun Moon Lake and visited one of the 16 tribes of the Aboriginal people in Taiwan. They wore very bright clothing and some of the words in their dialect are similar to ours.