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Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday. (iWN file photo)
Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday. (iWN file photo)

Lawmakers from the main opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) will attend Tuesday’s special sitting of Parliament in honour of the visit of Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen.

NDP President and Leader of the Opposition, Godwin Friday, told iWitness News on Sunday that NDP lawmakers will attend the event notwithstanding the party’s support for the “One China” policy.

The “One China” policy is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government.

To acknowledge the policy is to recognise Beijing as the legitimate government of both the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan), which has two separate governments.

Countries do not have simultaneous diplomatic relationships with Taiwan and China, as Beijing says that Taiwan is a renegade province to be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.

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The then Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China relocated to Taipei in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Communist Party of China, which has been governing China since then.

In 2016, the NDP, under the leadership of then president, Arnhim Eustace, said that his party was adopting the One China policy and would switch diplomatic recognition to Beijing, if elected to office.

Taipei and Kingstown have maintained diplomatic ties since 1981, and Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves had emphasised his government’s commitment to maintaining that relationship, saying that the issue between Beijing and Taipei is essentially a family quarrel that they will resolve in time.

Tsai will, on Tuesday, become the second Taiwan president to address the Vincentian legislature, the first being Chen Shui-bian in 2005.

Friday, who had visited China since becoming NDP leader in 2016, says that the NDP, under his leadership, remain committed to the One China policy.

He told iWitness News that NDP lawmakers will attend Tuesday’s meeting of Parliament.

“What we are speaking about is a policy that we will implement when we are in government. Right now, the government has relations with Taiwan. We are in parliament, parliament is being held on the 16th. We will show up and do our duty as the opposition. That is pretty much it,” Friday told iWitness News.

He said he will not be making an address and was not been invited to do so during Tuesday’s special sitting.

“I don’t know what other events are planned because I have not seen the programme. I spoke to the prime minister a few days ago but everything seems to be, at this point, quite fluid,” the opposition leader said.

Last month, opposition lawmakers attended and Friday addressed a special meeting of Parliament in honour of the official visit to SVG of President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

During her visit to SVG, Tsai will hold talks with Gonsalves among other activities.

She comes to Kingstown as a stop on a tour of Taiwan’s four Caribbean allies. The tour is dubbed “President Tsai Ing-Wen’s Journey of Freedom, Democracy and Sustainability.”

8 replies on “NDP to honour Taiwan leader’s visit despite ‘One China’ policy”

  1. It is reported that China is to conduct ‘large-scale military exercises involving its land, naval, air and rocket forces near Taiwan’ after the U.S went ahead and approve $2.2 billion arms sale to the self-ruled island. Indeed, it is reported that China has said that the People’s Liberation Army will conduct drills along its southeast coast and that the drills could be a ‘high-level, large scale joint exercise’.

    It’s a matter of who needs who most when the stakes are high and large weapon sales are on the table as the Chinese Government ramps up its rhetoric on Taiwan and says that Chinese companies will cut business ties with U.S firms selling arms to Taiwan.

    The Chinese state media reported Announcements came as Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was visiting New York. These announcements comes on the heels of the U.S State Department approval of the sale of the weapons requested by Taiwan, so it looks like President Tsai Ing-wen will have a few things on her mind while she is visiting us here in SVG.

    If however she has by any chance has forgotten her Chequebook during the visit, she could always make an electronic transfer direct to our treasury, it will save us having to go all that way to pick up the donation, as every little will help to keep us afloat that little while longer, and she could always take a very large bottle of rum with her when she goes home!

  2. The Ndp as usual displayed it’s hypocrisy wheel it comes to Taiwan, while I am not a up supporter , however , I noted the ulp hipocracy.

  3. I’m sorry Mr. Friday but that is hypocrisy plain and simple. If the NDP does not recognize Taiwan as a legitimate country, and only recognize the One China policy, the NDP therefore subscribes to the illegitimacy of the Government of Taiwan. How then, can you with a straight face say, that you will attend the special sitting of parliament to listen to an illegitimate President of a renegade country make an address to a country you say should not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan but with China? You certainly cannot be taken seriously as a leader. If you believed in the veracity of your party’s policy, there is no way you would enter parliament to listen to the speech of the leader of Taiwan. I had hoped for a new day with the NDP with your election as leader, but I fear that actions like these continue to diminish my hope. Mr. Friday, you must have, and show that you have the testicular fortitude to stand on principle and for what you believe.

  4. When one plays cheque-book diplomacy, one will always find oneself, between a rock and a hard place and sadly, Eustace for his part was never a wildly scheming Machiavellian operative, like his ULP counterpart, hence the discomforting quagmire his successor finds himself in.

    Nevertheless, resolution for the Taiwan situation will always remain with the Peoples Liberation Army and the U.S and hardly with the U.N and certainly never with a nondescript backwater like SVG!

  5. Calliaquaman says:

    There are Leadership/Government/ Individuals in SVGw who of colonization and colony like England, replace the queen etcs but they travels to these Countries.

    They interact with Governments,,/NGOs.

    Question; Sir, Will you consider the Prime Minister, and many leftist brenthens unprinciple ,and two-faced when they sit with the Government in England or dine with my Queen?

  6. I am sorry #CALLIAQUAMAN but you seem not to appreciate the point I made. First, this is not about any government member or political leader just interacting with another government or any NGOs. Maybe if you understood the One China Doctrine and the stated policy enunciated by the NDP and the public support of that policy by Dr. Friday as the leader of the said NDP you would not only understand but appreciate the point. Secondly, because a country replaced the Queen of England as their Head of State, that does not mean that the leaders cannot or should not travel England. That’s a belief steeped in a level of ignorance unbecoming of someone who embraces the name Calliaqua.

  7. Calliaquaman says:

    Reply from a Dunce

    The word is Diplomatic, or Diplomacy, until such the implemention of One China policy which is adopted by percentage of Countries the Opposition in waiting must work in line with Government.

    The comparison is valid, our Prime Minister many years ago advocated the same policy of one China.

    Integrity of a man and trustworthiness and other negative you are trying to place on Dr Friday.

    This Calliaquaman is not dumb one, I am in politic before you was born. From Cato to now, and knows the policies and changing of policies along the way.

    The Cuban policy, the non-aligned, policy, etcs. I was ardent Listener to Our present Leader under Market Square and plans and policies he had for SVG to transfer It from the Labour Party Government in Opposition, today he implemented all of Cato policies and even went beyond him.

    “One China Policy” Is a policy saying that is only One Sovereign State under the name China”

    Mainland China and Tiawan used the same term, also do not forget Hong Kong was British Colony but belongs to China, as has they see Tiawan.

    The gifts to SVG will not dry up, they will be self government.

    I am true Calliaquaman who never sell his integrity political or any other way.

    2: I do not support any polical parties, I only support policies which can benefit SVG. When I Voted.

    Thanks, for calling me out. But inferences are draw from your writing.

    The dunce.

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