11 October 2012

Gambia: Banjul-Taipei Ties

editorial

The relationship between Banjul and Taipei is premised on common aspirations of universal justice and development through a framework of bilateral cooperation. And since the resumption of relations in 1995, the cooperation has continued to yield dividends.

This relationship with the Asian island nation should be viewed as a major leap towards deepening the cooperation that embraces crucial economic sectors - education, health and agriculture - of The Gambia. The deployment of the Taiwanese Technical Mission in The Gambia shows the level of seriousness Taipei attaches to this cooperation.

Owing to the commitment of President Jammeh and successive Taiwanese leaders, the scope of cooperation has been expanded in recent years to take on board infrastructure and construction, and humanitarian assistance. There has been more emphasis on the importance of science and technology, which is crucial towards laying a solid foundation for the realisation of the Silicon Valley vision. Gambian students and senior government officials are being sent to undergo studies and training in Taiwan through generous scholarships made available by the Asian island nation.

The Gambia has also been championing Taiwan's quest to secure United Nations membership and its affiliated bodies in the comity of nations. Convinced that the continuing isolation of the 23 million Taiwanese is a flagrant violation of human rights and the very fundamental charters that the UN exists to uphold, The Gambia has maintained consistency and resilience in championing the just cause of the Taiwanese people.

In re-examining the relationship, the cooperation should be trickled down to people-people cooperation, which is essential in engaging local NGOs operating in The Gambia to support the statehood of Taiwan.

As the dust of Taiwan's National Day celebration settles down, we applaud both countries for the wonderful diplomatic ties they have been enjoying over the years.

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