Taiwan and St. Lucia formally resumed diplomatic relations as representatives from both countries signed a joint communique in the Caribbean country on Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday.
St. Lucia is Taiwan's 25th diplomatic ally.
Minister of Foreign Affairs James Huang (黃志芳) flew to St. Lucia on Sunday and signed the Joint Communique on the Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relations with St. Lucia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Rufus Bousquet on Monday, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Tzu-pao (楊子葆) at a news press conference in Taipei.
Both sides officially announced the resumption of diplomatic ties in the signing ceremony in Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. Taiwan established its embassy on the island on the same day in accordance with the joint communique, Yang said.
The establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries has been dogged by with controversy, not only from China but also within Taiwan.
Taiwan and St. Lucia first set up diplomatic relations in 1984 when John Compton served as prime minister. However, St. Lucia severed ties with Taipei in 1997 when then prime minister Kenny Anthony switched recognition to Beijing. Compton came back to power last December.
On April 25, Bousquet announced in Congress that St. Lucia intended to set up ties with Taiwan.
In Taipei, Premier Su Tseng-chang (
The restoration of diplomatic ties between St. Lucia and Taiwan has the full support of Compton and his Cabinet, Yang said.
Huang, who is in St. Lucia, called in during a news conference, saying that it was a remarkable achievement for Taiwan to be able to win a new friend despite the tremendous pressure from China.
"It shows that the image of `Taiwan' is highly valued in internationally," Huang said.
Huang said his joy was tempered by the fact that despite having made a new ally, Taiwan still faces a tough diplomatic future because of China's expanding global influence.
Huang said Taiwan had never asked St. Lucia to severe diplomatic relations with China during the negotiations for the resumption of ties.
"Taiwan has no intention of playing a `zero-sum game' with China. We hope St. Lucia, Taiwan and China can all be winners in the diplomatic arena," he said.
Asked whether Taiwan would offer St. Lucia economic aid, Huang said that Taiwan would offer the same cooperation pact it has with other diplomatic allies, including agricultural development, information technology, handicrafts, medicine and education.
"Taiwan can never compete with China when it comes to `checkbook diplomacy.' As far as I know, what China offered St. Lucia would stun anyone. Taiwan would never do that," Huang said. "Taiwan wins friendship with its sincerity and reputation."
A senior foreign ministry official, who requested anonymity, said that Gary Lin (
Lin, a senior diplomat who worked for the ministry for more than 20 years, has served as the director-general of the Department of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, ambassador to the Marshall Islands and charge d'affaires to St. Lucia.
Lin was commissioned to St. Lucia soon after Compton won the election last December and took charge of the task of restoring diplomatic ties with St. Lucia.
While Lin was serving as the director-general of the Department of East Asia and Pacific affairs, Taiwan built diplomatic relations with Kiribati and Nuaru. He was also credited with facilitating President Chen Shui-bian's (
China, meanwhile, expressed "indignation and opposition" to the resumption of Taiwan-St. Lucia ties yesterday.
"The resumption of diplomatic relations between St Lucia and Taiwan is a flagrant violation of the declaration on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and St Lucia," China's foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao (
Additional reporting by AFP
* Location: east of the Caribbean Sea, bordering the Atlantic Ocean; one of the Windward Islands.
* Capital: Castries.
* Official language: English.
* Government: Parliamentary.
* Territory: 620 km2.
* Population: About 170,000.
* History: St. Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations on Feb. 22, 1979.
* Interesting facts: Arthur Lewis, Nobel Prize laureate in economics in 1979, and Derek Walcott, Nobel Prize winner in literature in 1992, hail from St. Lucia.
FAMILY FEUD: Weng Jen-hsien, who was convicted of killing six people in 2016, was the second prisoner to be executed since President Tsai Ing-wen took office A death row inmate was executed on Wednesday, less than a year after he was convicted of killing six people by setting fire to his home. Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he signed the order and the death sentence was carried out on Wednesday afternoon in New Taipei City. The Supreme Court on July 10 last year sentenced 53-year-old Weng Jen-hsien (翁仁賢) to death after he was convicted of killing his parents, niece, nephew and nephew’s wife and his parents’ caregivers. Weng set fire to his home in Taoyuan’s Longtan District (龍潭) on Feb. 7, 2016, after a family feud
At a campground in Nantou County, a team of women are using ropes to shimmy up a towering seven-story tall Chinaberry tree, fighting their fear of heights and reconnecting with nature. Tree climbing remains somewhat niche in Taiwan, but a growing number of women are embracing the challenge thanks to the island’s first international certified female climber arborist. Sylvia Hsu (許芢涵), 26, said she was inspired to set up her own women-only tree climbing classes after seeing the popularity of similar gatherings in Europe. “A women-only camp is a more relaxed environment,” she said. “I was hooked on trees after my first climb...
Police in Kaohsiung are investigating a possible murder after a woman’s body was found in a plastic container on Thursday. The bucket was found by a person operating an excavator on a construction site at a private lot next to the Ciaotou Sugar Refinery Station (橋頭糖廠站) on the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit system. Police investigator Chen Jen-cheng (陳仁正) yesterday said police had reviewed missing person reports and have narrowed the identity of the victim down to about 20 possible people. Physical evidence suggested she might have been a Fongshan District (鳳山) woman surnamed Lin (林), who was about 60 years old when she
IN PRINCIPLE: The Central Epidemic Command Center began yesterday to ban visits to hospitalized patients, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 10 new COVID-19 cases — eight imported and two locally transmitted — bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 339. The imported cases involved six men and two women, all Taiwanese, who had traveled to Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Indonesia, countries in Latin America, the UK or the US before arriving back in Taiwan between March 6 and Tuesday, center data showed. Among them, patient No. 338 was part of a tour group that traveled to Austria and the Czech Republic, and has resulted in an infection cluster of five cases,