KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has invited Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou to visit the nation’s Caribbean Community (CARICOM) allies.
Gonsalves said at a media briefing on Wednesday that he invited Ma via a letter in which he also congratulated the Asian leader on his re-election last Saturday to another four-year term.
“I want to congratulate my friend President Ma on his very comfortable victory at the polls, he and his vice presidential candidate and also a return to a parliamentary majority of the Kuomintang,” said Gonsalves whose Unity Labour Party was elected a third term in office in December 2010.
“The opposition [Democratic Progressive Party] did very well and Taiwan has a robust and vibrant multiparty system. We share that in common…” he added.
Gonsalves, who has visited Taiwan twice since Ma came to office in May 2008, said he was looking forward to working with the Taiwanese leader over the next four year.
“President Ma, … during his first four years, has shown his commitment to the strengthening of relations between our two countries and we have reciprocated,” he said.
“I have asked him to consider visiting us in this term in office sooner rather than later because the sooner he gets to it the better,” said Gonsalves, who noted that the CARICOM nations of Belize, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadine and Haiti are allies of Taiwan.
The Dominican Republic also recognises as an independent capital Taipei, which Beijing says is a renegade province to be reunited by force, if necessary.
“It would be a wonderful thing, certainly, for him to come and visit us,” Gonsalves further stated.
Former Taiwanese president Chen Shui-bian visited this country and other allies in the region in October 2005.
“It may be not a bad time, seven years thereafter, for us to have a visit. Of course, the president is very busy and he probably has his schedule worked out for the year already, but I have extended an invitation to him,” Gonsalves said.