Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has urged journalists travelling with visiting President of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou to report on his nation’s gratitude to Taiwan for its assistance.
Ma paid a one-day visit to this country on Saturday, during which he attended the opening ceremony of the Taiwan-funded bridge in Colonarie.
Speaking at the ceremony, Gonsalves said a productive society is one that is focused on hard and smart work.
He used Taiwan as an example saying that through hard, disciplined work, the country has transformed itself into an “economic powerhouse”.
“And this is where our relationship with Taiwan is so critical. I think of all the countries with which we have close relations; this is the one which teaches us this lesson best of all.
“And that is why I want the media from Taiwan to know this. This is one country, which does not bad spend one single cent of any assistance, which we get from Taiwan,” the prime minister said.
“We spend this money wisely, because we know you work for it very hard. It is an important point that we have to make,” he further said.
The prime minister said he knows that in some countries journalists question why their government ”waste” money by gives money to allies, rather than using it internally.
“Well, you are not wasting it here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. We are putting that money to very good use. You can take the pictures back and you can see what we have done with them,” he said at the official opening of the Colonarie Bridge on the northeastern coast, which was built with US$1.1 million donated by Taiwan.
Gonsalves further spoke of the assistance that this country receives from Taiwan in other areas, including agriculture and education.
“And I want your media in Taiwan to say how much we appreciate this and how much you are helping with the development of our country and strengthening relations for peace and justice in the world.
Ma’s stance on peace praised
Gonsalves also praised Ma’s efforts at reducing tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
“I am so happy when I went to the inauguration of President Ma when I heard him outline in detail his vision and the centrality of peace and the need to reduce tensions across the Taiwan Strait, and to see how you can link much better all the various components of our Chinese civilisation. It’s a great vision and it contributes immensely and we thank you very much,” Gonsalves said.