China sends invite to Caribbean forum to Taiwan's allies

By Melody Chen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 3

China invited at least three of Taiwan's Caribbean allies to participate in an economic forum it will co-host with Jamaica today. One of the three, Belize, has signed up to join the conference, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

The "China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum," to promote economic exchanges and cooperation between China and the Caribbean, is slated for today and tomorrow at the Jamaica Conference Center in the capital, Kingston.

Taiwan's allies Belize, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts and Nevis are among the invited, while the Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed they would send delegations to the meeting.

Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong (曾慶紅) will head the Chinese delegation to the trade forum.

Twelve of Taiwan's 26 diplomatic allies are in Central and Latin America. The country has felt increasing pressure from Beijing in the region, as China's booming economy gives it an edge in competing with Taiwan for diplomatic allies.