Senate President Hokkon Baules has asked Minister of state Faustina Rehuher-Marugg to clarify comments made by Palau Ambassador to Taiwan, Dilmei Olkeriil about Palau not establishing official ties with mainland China.
Baules is a strong advocate of closer ties with China. He supported the House Joint Resolution calling the Palau President to establish close economic ties with China. However, the resolution after adoption by the House, failed to muster enough votes for approval in the Senate.
Dear Minister Marugg:
I hope that this letter finds you in the best of health. I seek for prompt clarification regarding a statement made by Her Excellency Ambassador Dilmei Olkeriil which was quoted in the Tuesday December 19, 2017 edition of the Island Times newspaper. She notes in part "Palau will not be establishing official ties with China, which would require it to sever links with Taiwan, even if pressured by the mainland.
I understand as well that the comments were made in an interview with Focus Taiwan News Channel and Taiwan Central News Agency (CNA). Given the exposure these news agencies have throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the world, it is critical that clarification is made to confirm if this statement is the official foreign policy position of the Republic of Palau with regards to the people's Republic of China.
I am concerned of the effects that an abrupt end to visitors and tourists from the People's Republic of China would have no our current tourism industry. And further, the possible adverse effects of the country's support for our initiatives in international organizations as the United Nations.
I anticipate your prompt response to this inquiry as the senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau must be consistent with the Executive Branch in its consideration on matter of foreign policy.