Wednesday, September 12, 2012 – Saint Lucia will continue to enjoy diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Social Security Honourable Dr Kenny D Anthony ended months of speculation in a television and radio address to the nation Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Anthony told the nation, the decision to maintain relations with Taiwan was influenced by the undertakings of the Foreign Policy Review committee and the current global geo-political climate.
Saint Lucia clearly recognizes today’s global realities.
“We are fully aware of the fact that, as the Government of the People’s Republic of China has said, that “the One-China principle is the political basis for the establishment of relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean countries and Regional Organisations. We recognise too that, in China’s language, “there is but one China.” But we also recognise the present circumstances in which we have been placed over these last many years, and the necessity to move, not like a Jack-in-the-Box, jumping from one country to another every few years, but to follow the evolution of relations between China and Taiwan, and then to act accordingly. Against this background, the Government of Saint Lucia has decided to maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan and to explore new avenues for mutual support and bilateral cooperation in the interest of both sides”.
The Government of Saint Lucia has told newly appointed Taiwanesse Ambassador His Excellency James Chang, the future of diplomatic relations between the two countries must be based on respect for Saint Lucia’s laws, Saint Lucia’s traditions, culture and absolute non-interference in Saint Lucia’s domestic political affairs.
Prime Minister Anthony also disclosed to the nation that his government has commenced investigations into the alleged payments made to members of the former government by Taiwan and its agents upon the re-establishment of diplomatic relations in 2007.
“We expressed the view that in our judgment, such payments and procedures, if made, breached both the law and acknowledged parliamentary practices in the authorisation of use of the funds. I wish to indicate that the Government of Saint Lucia has engaged the services of Bob Lindquist, the senior partner in his international forensic accounting firm, to look at these alleged transactions. Mr. Lindquist will gather the relevant information to permit better knowledge of the events which transpired, and if necessary, the Government will take action in the spirit of good governance, justice and respect for the laws of Saint Lucia. This audit will go beyond the issue of Taiwanese funds. Further information will be provided on the other areas to be covered by the audit on a subsequent occasion, as this address is not the most appropriate forum in which to do so”.
Notwithstanding, Prime Minister Anthony disclosed that the government will soon be in possession of a report by a Cabinet appointed committee into the operations of various District Councils with regards to their dissemination and use of Taiwaneese funds.
In closing, the Saint Lucian leader re-assured that Government remains committed to doing what it will take to pursue the best for the Saint Lucian people and nation’s development.