Twenty-five years after gaining independence, the Federation of St Christopher and Nevis remains the smallest country in the western hemisphere, but has grown in stature with a 97.8 percent literacy rate and free education for children until the secondary level, Jasmine Huggins, the Charge d’Affaires of the Caribbean country, said last Wednesday at a reception celebrating the country’s birthday.
The occasion also marked 25 years of diplomatic ties between Taipei and Basseterre.
“Twenty-five years ago, Taiwan was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with the Federation of St Christopher and Nevis and over the period, the Republic of China [ROC] on Taiwan has proven a friend to our country,” she said.
The reception, held in Taipei last Wednesday, was adorned with the flags of the ROC and the Federation. Five Kittian students studying in Taiwan sang the St Christopher and Nevis national anthem to begin the festivities.
Among the guests were Kittian Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs Dennis Merchant, Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊), Jacques Sawadogo, the ambassador from Burkina Faso and the dean of the diplomatic corp, and other heads of diplomatic missions.
“When I was in St Kitts last week to attend the national independence celebration, I felt the vitality, optimism and diligence of the people. It is a country with unlimited potentials,” Deputy Foreign Minister Javier Hou (侯清山) said.
Last January, St Christopher and Nevis opened its first embassy in Asia, choosing Taiwan as the location.
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