Mon, Oct 14, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Caribbean ally to be an advocate for Taiwan: Bowman

Staff writer, with CNA

St Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador Andrea Bowman last week poses at her desk at the nation’s embassy in Taipei in a photograph released on Saturday.

Photo: CNA

St Vincent and the Grenadines will have the ability to advocate more strongly for Taiwan to be recognized when it takes its seat on the UN Security Council early next year, St Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to Taiwan Andrea Bowman said last week in an interview with the Central News Agency.

The Caribbean nation was elected in June to be a seat on the 15-member council for a two-year term and is to take its seat in January.

The council seat will put St Vincent and the Grenadines “in a position where our voice will be better heard,” and allow the country to advocate for “Taiwan’s right to be legitimately recognized,” she said.

“The voice of this little country in such a big seat … would be heard and would count for something,” Bowman said.

Her nation has been using its voice to speak up internationally for Taiwan and will continue to do so, she said.

“Only now it’s going to be a louder voice, a voice that carries even more weight,” said Bowman, who became St Vincent and the Grenadines’ first ambassador to Taipei in August.

On the issue of China’s efforts to take Taiwan’s diplomatic allies, Bowman said she recognized that “all allies of Taiwan would be targeted by China.”

However, her nation’s 38-year relationship with Taiwan was built on “trust and friendship,” she said.

Diplomatic ties with Taiwan are strongly supported by the public and by Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his Unity Labour Party, now in their fourth consecutive term, she said.

The decision to open an embassy was a strong indication of its commitment to bilateral diplomatic ties, Bowman said.

The embassy was formally opened in an Aug. 8 ceremony, but did not began service until Monday last week.

Bowman, a former high school principal, said her first priority as ambassador is to take care of Vincentian students in Taiwan and to decide how best the embassy can serve them.

“I want them to regard the St Vincent embassy as a home away from home,” Bowman said.

Her second priority is to establish a viable presence in Taiwan, promoting her nation through the media, exhibitions and cultural events, she said.

The embassy’s first major undertaking will be a series of activities in the week leading up to Oct. 27, the 40th anniversary of St Vincent and Grenadines independence, Bowman said.

The celebrations will include a reception at the embassy and public events in Taipei, all of which will help establish the nation’s presence in Taiwan, she said.

“We are in our early days, but bit by bit we will do more and more,” she said.

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