Thu, Dec 23, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Grenada wrong to belittle Taiwan's commitment: MOFA

CNA , Taipei

It was rude and unfair for Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell to accuse Taiwan of not taking its diplomatic relations with the Caribbean nation seriously, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said yesterday.

Ministry spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) made the statement in response to reports that Mitchell had hinted Grenada would switch its recognition from Taipei to Beijing following his trip to China last week.

Mitchell reportedly said relations between Taiwan and Grenada have worsened since President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) took office in 2000 and that "it is clear that Grenada is no longer important to Taiwan."

Mitchell also disclosed that Beijing had promised to provide a large amount of funding to finance a number of development projects in Grenada.

Dismissing Mitchell's remarks, Lu said bilateral cooperation projects between Taiwan and Grenada have never ceased since the two countries established diplomatic ties 15 years ago.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) even visited Grenada in September to show Taiwan's concern for the damage done by Hurricane Ivan, and Taiwan has offered US$4 million as relief aid for Grenada in the aftermath of the disaster, Lu pointed out.

Lu said Mitchell may think he is being clever trying to play Taiwan and China off against each other, but Lu stressed that Taiwan will never engage in "dollar diplomacy" games with China. Lu said Taiwan is prepared for the worst-as far as its diplomatic relations with Grenada are concerned.

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