Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen greets students in Kingstown during her official visit on July 16, as Prime Minister of SVG, Ralph Gonsalves, looks on. (iWN photo)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will officially open its embassy in Taiwan on Thursday — about 9 p.m. Wednesday Kingstown time.

SVG to open embassy in Taiwan today; opposition maintains pro-China stance

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) will officially open its embassy in Taiwan on Thursday — about 9 p.m. Wednesday Kingstown time.

Thursday is Aug. 8, and according to Chinese culture, it is a favourable day for such an engagement as the Mandarin word for “eight” sounds similar to the word for “prosperity”.

Thursday is also Prime Minister of SVG, Ralph Gonsalves’ 73rd birthday and Chinese Father’s Day.

The opening comes one week after the main opposition New Democratic Party in SVG maintained that it will switch diplomatic recognition to China if voted into office, notwithstanding its participation in activities to mark the Taiwan president’s official visit last month.

The office of the Prime Minister in Kingstown said there will be an official ceremony to mark the opening of the embassy.

Gonsalves, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, her Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu, as well as the ambassador designate, Andrea Bowman will attend the ceremony.

In addition to the ambassador, minister counsellor Elroy Wilson, and a secretary and a driver will staff the Vincentian embassy.

The Agency for Public Information (API) will stream the event on its Facebook page, from about 9 p.m. SVG time.

Andrea Bowman will be SVG’s first ambassador to Taiwan. (iWN file photo)

Gonsalves, who is leading an eight-member mission on an official visit to Taiwan, will unveil a sign to mark the official opening of the embassy.

Gonsalves, who is leading an eight-member mission on an official visit to Taiwan, will unveil a sign to mark the official opening of the embassy.

With the opening of the embassy, SVG will no longer have the distinction of being the only one of Taiwan’s 17 allies without an embassy in Taiwan.

The statement said that the Vincentian embassy is a sign that the relationship between this country and Taiwan is “growing and becoming more institutionalised”.

“The embassy will address the needs of the growing Vincentian student population in Taiwan, as well as facilitate greater private sector investment, and build on the strong cooperation that exists between both countries.”

The opening ceremony will hear welcome remarks from Peggy Carr, a Vincentian who has been living in Taiwan for a number of years and will include a cultural presentation from Shaunelle McKenzie, the 2019 calypso monarch.

Opposition Leader Godwin Friday, left, shakes hands with President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen after her address to Parliament on July 16. Prime Minster Ralph Gonsalves is at left. (iWN photo)

Meanwhile, at a press conference last week, Opposition Leader Godwin Friday was asked why, in light his New Democratic Party’s (NDP) one-China Policy, did opposition lawmakers participate in events to mark Tsai’s official visit to SVG.

Friday said that the NDP has declared its One-China position, which he said is in keeping with the vast majority of countries in the world.

The opposition leader said that taking part in Tsai’s visit “has nothing to do, necessarily with what our government will do in office.

“We are a party that we have made our position clear, we are not in government to determine whom to invite or who to have relations with as a country,” Friday said.

But Friday was told that his party’s policy is essentially saying that the government in Taipei is illegitimate but when the head of that government visits SVG, he and other opposition lawmakers go to hear her address Parliament.

“I don’t see it as very complicated at all. I have explained my obligation as a Leader of the Opposition,” Friday said, adding that discussions take place between Beijing and Taipei.“I don’t create the conditions as they are. We are basically seeking to conform with the international community standards but we also have obligations here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and that is something I would do on the basis of what I feel is in the best interest of our people and it is an obligation that I have as the leader of the opposition in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. When we are in government, watch and see what we do,” Friday said.

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12 Comments

  1. I’m sorry Mr. Friday but you cannot have it both ways. You and the NDP dropped the ball on this one. Apparently you do not fully understand the One China policy or doctrine, and I cannot understand why the reporters did not press you on the issue. Saying that you recognize China and not Taiwan is saying that you accept the One China doctrine which states unequivocally that Taiwan is not an independent nation but a rogue province and the Government is therefore illegitimate. Understandably, it is your right and that of the NDP to support the One China doctrine, but how can you now be comfortable meeting with the leader of that illegitimate government and rogue state? That Mr. Opposition Leader who wants to be Prime Minister, is defined as hypocrisy, and no amount of punting or vacillating will save you or your party on this one. You should have stood on principle. If the government is illegitimate and the country a rouge state, then YOU DO NOT MEET WITH THE LEADER! Plain and simple. That is the nature of strong leadership.

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  2. I think the biggest political surprised l got from the NDP was when it made the decision that when it form government it will have diplomatic relationship with CHINA.a communist country.the NDP lamebase the ULP for having intensions of removing from TAIWAN to China. I hope the NDP knows what they are saying.if they are only saying that because Taiwan is playing politics.then that’s a good idea.but we should never consider having such a relationship with china.it loan money to Sri Lanka to do a Port they could not pay they moved in an take it and now apporateing it for 99 years.also they control a lot of government in Africa who can’t pay back there loans.so l will agree with you to get rid of taiwan.but don’t go to China.Go to Russia . it is open for business there are a lot of opportunities that we get to develop our country . The most advance technology for our country security and our financial sistem been better protected.yiu will also be able to get a loan for our country to be come the first country in the Caribbean to have it’s own satellite.and that will make this country the most advance in the caribbean.with out Taiwan and China.

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  3. The NDP is involved in double speak. On one hand they do you do not recognized Taiwan but attended the events that hosted by the government honoring he that country President visit to SVG. How hyprocrtical we can be.

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  4. I am glad SVG aren’t doing business with China. The Chinese government loan countries money that they can’t repay then they will take everything from the country they loan money to. Ask Jamaicans about what the Chinese are doing in their country. The Chinese government is full of tricks. I ain’t trust the Europeans.

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  5. As a popular Taiwanese mayor launched a new Political party there on Tuesday, that could chip away at the two main political camps that have long dominated Taiwan’s politics as the country heads towards crucial elections in January, Beijing words and actions are becoming more difficult to predict as China’s military capabilities grows.

    “Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je, 60, said he wanted to change Taiwan’s political culture and offer the people “another choice” beside the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT)”. Beijing’s words however, of eventual unification are however never forgotten.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7326731/Taipei-mayor-Ko-launches-new-political-party.html

    Therefore, be Warned, warning, be warned is the directive to the USA, as China makes it clear that it is ready to go to war over Taiwan. In the circumstance interpreting Beijing words and actions in Washington are becoming more and more difficult to dismiss as China’s military capabilities grows. Hence “Anger erupts as Pentagon bares plan to deploy, ‘sooner rather than later’, long-range missiles in Beijing’s backyard”.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/china-won-stand-idly-deploys-missiles-asia-190806044005124.html

    Meanwhile, China has made it clear its desire to become a military super power, as well as being an economic superpower, in the not too distant future. A recent propaganda video from China has claimed that Beijing owns about 2,500 ballistic missiles, including one of the world’s most powerful weapons, Dongfeng-41.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1978580/Video-New-footage-reveals-secret-command-centre-Chinas-rocket-army.html

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    1. JOLLY GREEN there’s absolutely no need for this diatribe. If you are a woman, then you are a very poor example of women and especially the women of SVG. If you are a man, then you are a misogynistic buffoon masquerading as a man. This woman is well qualified and if you had taken the time to be as smart and qualified as she is, you won’t have had the time to engage in such nonsensical trivia. I will offer you some advice my mother gave me … “it is better to let people think you are an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt” I say no more. Congrats Ms Bowman. Go and do an excellent job and make SVG proud!

      Reply

  6. Jolly why do you refer to someone on the site as a moron? We are here to share knowledge, we have to agree to disagree. If you are not in agreement with some one that doesn’t give you the right to use such discrptive terms. It speaks lowly of you when you use such descriptive terms.

    Reply

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