President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen has thanked Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Ralph Gonsalves for visiting the Asian nation amid heightened tension across the Taiwan Strait.
Gonsalves arrived in Taiwan on Sunday on what was expected to be the final day of Chinese military live fire drills near Taiwan.
However, since then, Beijing has announced a fresh set of drills, which experts say give an indication of what an attempt by China to take over Taiwan could look like.
China, which claims the self-ruled Taiwan as a part of its territory, is carrying out the military drills in response to the visit to Taipei last week by Speaker of the US House of Representative, Nancy Pelosi, as part of a tour of Asia.
Tsai said she was deeply touched by Gonsalves’ visit – his 10th as prime minister and the first since being re-elected to a fifth consecutive term in November 2020, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) reported.
Tsai, who visited SVG in 2019, described Gonsalves as a “close and dear friend of Taiwan,” CNA said.
Tsai said that since establishing diplomatic ties in 1981, Kingstown and Taipei have supported each other and have achieved much together, despite the constantly changing international landscape.
She noted that before departing SVG for the official visit, Gonsalves said that the military drills would not prevent him from visiting his friends in Taiwan.
Tsai spoke following a military parade in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei to welcome Gonsalves and his delegation.
CNA said that after the military salute, Gonsalves delivered a speech by live stream in which he said Taiwan and SVG are island nations that share common values related to “the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights”.
Commenting on the Chinese drills, Gonsalves said, “… we do not like it and do not support any powerful neighbour seeking to intimidate us or bully us…
“Wherever there are differences, we must settle them peacefully in a civilised manner.”
He said the visit was meant to express SVG’s solidarity with Taiwan and to work further to strengthen bilateral relations and secure peace, security and prosperity for all.
Gonsalves also thanked Taiwan for assisting SVG after the April 2021 volcanic eruption and in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Gonsalves and Tsai attended meetings to discuss issues of mutual interest, witnessed the signing of a bilateral judicial cooperation agreement and a letter of intent for collaboration in higher education to further deepen bilateral judicial and educational cooperation, the Presidential Office said.
Speaking shortly after arriving in Taiwan on Sunday, Gonsalves called on China to stop the military exercises, adding that China and Taiwan are “different legitimate political expressions of Chinese civilisation,” and that he expects that these differences can be resolved peacefully over time.
Before departing Kingstown, he had said that he would write to China asking it to cease its military aggression toward Taiwan. However, it is not clear whether the prime minister has dispatched any such communication.
Kingstown’s Agency for Public Information said on Aug. 3 that Gonsalves’ delegation consists of Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Angie Jackson, Minister of National Mobilisation Dr. Orando Brewster and his wife, Latheisha Brewster, Taiwan Ambassador to SVG, Peter Sha-Li Lan, Chairman of the National Insurance Services, Lennox Bowman, Shevrell Macmillan of the API and the prime minister’s security officer, Sergeant Kendal Horne.
CNA said that in Taiwan, Gonsalves will sign agreements with Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice on mutual assistance and the transfer of prisoners and a letter of intent with the Ministry of Education to strengthen cooperation in higher education.
Gonsalves will also meet with Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Chen Chi-mai, mayor of Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan, and visit the SVG Embassy in Taipei and the International Cooperation and Development Fund, MOFA said.
Gonsalves is expected to leave Taiwan on Friday
SVG is one of 14 nations that recognise Taiwan as a state separate from China.
Who cares at all if goes to Taiwan? Which of the super powers he belongs to?
Ripley’s believe it or not. Good show Ralph! one of the rare times when actually you do the right thing. Knowing you, you probably sold your soul behind the scenes. enjoy, Every dog has his day. careful you get Hart attack. you now playing the role you like, snake.
I am really pleased with this visit (even though I am a Canadian and have no ties to SVG). PM Gonsalves has more courage and moral values than our joke of a PM has.
Tieone way really wrong wid u. ‘Thanks’ wha, is dotish yo dotish es wha. Can’t see d man shoppng fu awards to make himself look good? Good thing polosie get there before.
This is one of the rare occasion when i would say PM Gonsalves or the ULP got it right with respect to foreign policy although much of it is grand standing.He is certaily leveraging foreign policy and at the same time being on the right side of law and history. This is in stark contrast to the position taken by the confusing policy of the NDP and Friday. I will say kudos to the ULP on this.History will absolve the ULP on this.
What St Vincent will loose in a fracture of ties or relationship with Taiwan:
The loss of hundreds of social ties established from people to people contact over the years.
Loss of meaningful friendship. Taiwan has been proven to be a trusted friend over the years.
Taiwan always answered the call when the country is in need of economic aid.
Continuous relationship since the yesr 1981
Lol. me pamper wet , la me go change um.
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