At the most recent UN General Assembly, Saint Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Anthony, one of the nation’s diplomatic allies, said he was aware of the determination of Taiwanese and Chinese to unite their countries, and that his country looks forward to that, a document obtained by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) from the UN Web site said.
Hsiao disclosed Anthony’s statement, made at the 67th session of UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, yesterday at the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee.
A section regarding cross-strait relations was incorporated into Anthony’s eight-page statement, in which Anthony said: “The government of Saint Lucia is well aware of the determination of the Chinese people to unify their country, signaled to the world with the taking by China of its rightful place in this august body of the United Nations.”
“In that context, Saint Lucia welcomes the emerging dialogue and cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan. This Cross Straight [sic] dialogue and cooperation will surely facilitate global harmony,” he said. “We look forward to a continued evolution of the ongoing peaceful rapprochement among the Chinese people as they search to unify their civilization.”
Hsiao asked Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平): “Why did [representatives from] our diplomatic allies make such a statement?”
“Could it be that it was what the ministry told our diplomatic allies? That we seek unification with China?” Hsiao asked.
Hsiao demanded the ministry look into what she called a “dereliction of duty” of Representative to Saint Lucia James Chang (章計平).
Saying that the statement by Anthony was “a very grave matter,” Hsiao said it could mislead the international community into thinking that Taiwan favors pursuing unification with China, which “in fact runs counter to the mainstream: maintaining the ‘status quo.’”
His statement could also cause misconceptions about the cross-strait ‘status quo,’ Hsiao added.
The general debate at the UN is the most important occasion for Taiwan to seek support from the international community for its participation in the international organization, in which Taiwan lost its seat to the People’s Republic of China in 1971.
Hsiao asked whether the ministry had provided Saint Lucia with information that led to Anthony’s statement, and also said it was unusual that, with the exception of Panama, the nation’s diplomatic allies in Central America — the Dominican Republic, Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador — all failed to voice their support for Taiwan’s UN bid.
Shih said the ministry did not tell the Saint Lucia that Taiwan seeks unification with China.
“It could be his personal opinion,” Shih said.
The important part of Anthony’s statement was his praise for cross-strait rapprochement, Shih said.
Speaking by telephone, Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs director-general Jaime Wu (吳進木) said the ministry lobbied diplomatic allies to speak up for Taiwan at the UN event, but it had no prior knowledge of what they were going to say.
According to the ministry’s understanding, based on previous interactions with Saint Lucia, Anthony meant unification in a cultural sense, not a political one, Wu said.