- Taiwan-Saint Lucia signs Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement
- ‘It’s our choice as a country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and that has been our choice’
- ‘I’m also here to strengthen the bonds of friendship that exist between our two islands’
- ‘We do not believe in invasions, we do not believe in the use of force, we believe in peaceful transitions of government’
By Caribbean News Global
TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan – Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre on Monday, November 28 expressed hope that “the bonds of friendship” between Saint Lucia and Taiwan can be strengthened, [upon landing in Taiwan Monday morning] – affirmed on Wednesday that his country does not believe in interference in the internal affairs of other countries and chooses to be a diplomatic ally with Taiwan.
Prime Minister Pierre’s amplification that “chooses to be a diplomatic ally with Taiwan” is the most affirmative positioning and of immense significance given daily advances by China with support from certain local politicians and former prime ministers.
This positioning by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Pierre also alludes to Taiwan’s massive backing of the island’s social agenda and budgetary support outlined in St Lucia’s 2022/23 budget of $1.842B styled ‘the peoples budget’.
On Wednesday, Focus Taiwan (CNA) reported that Saint Lucia chooses to be diplomatic ally with Taiwan, noting prime minister Pierre’s comments:
“We believe in all states having responsibility for their own foreign policy, we do not interfere in the internal relations of states,” Pierre said during an interview at the Embassy of Saint Lucia in Taipei. “It’s our choice as a country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and that has been our choice.”
“We respect the sovereignty of Taiwan, we respect the sovereignty of all states, we do not believe in interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, so we’ve chosen now to be a diplomatic ally of Taiwan and that’s what we are,” Pierre replied when asked by CNA if his government was asked by China to establish official diplomatic relations with Beijing.”
The Republic of China and Saint Lucia first established diplomatic relations in 1984. Ties were severed in 1997 and Saint Lucia switched recognition from Taiwan to China. In April 2007, Saint Lucia reestablished diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
Prime Minister Pierre continued:
“I’m here to express my gratitude, the gratitude of all the people of Saint Lucia. I’m also here to strengthen the bonds of friendship that exist between our two islands,” Pierre added.
“We know how to run elections, and that is something we can teach states. I’m sure Taiwan can teach larger countries transitions,” Pierre said. “We do not believe in invasions, we do not believe in the use of force, we believe in peaceful transitions of government.“
Taiwan-Saint Lucia signs Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement
On November 29, Prime Minister Pierre and president Tsai Ing-wen, accompanied by vice president Lai Ching-te, help bilateral talks and expressed confidence that Taiwan will continue to “deepen bilateral partnership by advancing mutual assistance [for mutual benefit] while creating even more opportunities for cooperation to bring about greater prosperity for our peoples.”
Prime Minister Pierre expressed his fervent belief that only by working together will our countries and the existing generations be able to tackle some of the greatest challenges of our times. He emphasized that we must find and implement practical solutions to the many threats we face.
Pierre stated that his country will, at every opportunity, reaffirm its belief in respecting national territorial integrity, observing international rules on the peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. He said that, as such, his country will continue to champion and support Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the organs and agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations.
Prime minister Pierre expressed his gratitude for Taiwan’s continued support and said he looks forward to even greater support for Saint Lucia’s national development goals, which cover areas including education, agriculture, the youth economy, housing assistance, digital transformation, and crime management systems.
President Tsai, said:
“Taiwan and Saint Lucia are steadfast partners. In recent years, we have initiated cooperation in important areas including infrastructure, fruit and vegetable production and sales, information and communications technology education, medicine, and public health, achieving fruitful results.
I know that Prime Minister Pierre is focused on improving the vocational skills of young people and women to help them achieve their entrepreneurial ambitions. I am delighted that we are also jointly promoting many key cooperation programs in this area.
Prime Minister Pierre’s other priority issues include post-pandemic economic recovery, public health and medicine, and sustainable development.
“He has participated in the United Nations General Assembly for two consecutive years and chairs both the Caribbean Development Bank and the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. It is clear that he is a highly influential leader in the region.”
Here, I would like to express my admiration for Prime Minister Pierre, said President Tsai:
“This August, Taiwan, the United States, and Saint Lucia cohosted a workshop on post-pandemic economic recovery in Saint Lucia under the Global Cooperation and Training Framework. Participants shared their successful experiences in promoting the economic empowerment of women and young people. Through exchanges like this, I believe that we can jointly accelerate post-pandemic economic recovery and revitalization.
Confronted by authoritarian expansion, democratic partners must work together in solidarity and bolster the strength of our alliance. I want to especially thank Saint Lucia for its longstanding advocacy on the global stage for Taiwan’s right to international participation.
At the General Debate of the 77th United Nations General Assembly this year, prime minister Pierre strongly defended Taiwan’s international participation. Also this year, at COP27, minister for education, sustainable development, innovation, science, technology, and vocational training, Shawn A. Edward, [who is here today], ardently voiced his support for Taiwan.
“Going forward, I firmly believe that Taiwan and Saint Lucia will continue to deepen our partnership by providing mutual assistance for mutual benefit. I trust that the signing of the Taiwan-Saint Lucia Technical Cooperation Framework Agreement will bring about even more opportunities for cooperation and advance the prosperity of our peoples.”
Taiwan has touched and continues to express its global stature in every aspect of the social and economic development of Saint Lucia. However, this has not hindered the well–known developments that China continues to advocate for diplomatic representation in Saint Lucia, aided and abetted by local agents.
On November 21, 2022, Ambassador, H.E. Peter Chen, Republic of China (Taiwan) provided assistance valued at XCD$ 3.9 million, to support critical government relief programmes, following the November 6 Trough.
As Taiwan and Saint Lucia ‘deepen their bilateral partnership’, this ‘ adds significance to this occasion’ amid China’s advances in Latin America and the Caribbean, and US foreign policy goals.