Decision between Taiwan or China must be in St. Lucians and reflect sentiments of the people

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Decision between Taiwan or China must be in St. Lucians and reflect sentiments of the people

After persistent calls from the United Workers Party and a growing anxiety among Saint Lucians over the foreign affairs policy outlook of the current Government on the issue of formalizing relations with Taiwan or China, Prime Minister Kenny Anthony has decided after almost one year in office to finally address the nation on this issue.

The UWP is of the view that such a decision should not be based on personal/archaic political ideologies which are no longer determining factors in external affairs dynamics.

The United Workers Party would like to advise Dr. Anthony that the decision arrived at with respect to Taiwan or China should be guided by the sentiments of the people of this island. We contend that our relationships with foreign states must reflect our underlying morality as a Christian nation. Further we must be mindful of the obvious economic benefits of our association with Taiwan and the phenomenal impact on individual livelihoods, our communities and the nation as a whole.

We must express our concern over the role of China with respect to the current crisis in Syria and its historic support of oppressive regimes in Burma, Dafur – Sudan, Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa.  The Taiwanese through their cooperation assistance have impacted in a phenomenal way on our overall development process. Over the past five years they have facilitated/financed significant contributions to our nation’s development in the health, agricultural, education and technology and sports sectors.

In addition they have brought direct benefits to thousands of Saint Lucians through their “grass-roots projects” which included developments initiatives such as: drainage, footpaths, sidewalk, public facilities, bus shelters, community centers, multi-purpose Courts, road and water Projects to highlight a few examples. The Taiwanese contribution over the past five years under the United Workers Party Administration by far outstrips that made by the Chinese over the ten years of Labour Party rule between the period: 1997 – 2006.

The people of Saint Lucia who have been direct beneficiaries of the goodwill of the Government and people of Taiwan will no doubt expect Prime Minister Anthony to announce the decision which for many is the obvious and logical one to take at this time. Our nation’s image will certainly be affected by whatever decision is arrived at and certainly the legacy of Dr. Anthony and the current Government will hinge on that decision as well.

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