President Ma vows closer relations


Taiwan's President Ma Ying-Jeou (l) received a warm welcome to St Lucian shores.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou (l) received a warm welcome to St Lucian shores.

As part of the official visit of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, St Lucia’s Prime Minister Kenny Anthony addressed invited guests to the Official Residence on the occasion of the signing of a Joint Communique between the Governments of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and St Lucia on August 16, 2013.

Anthony said it was a great honour to host Taiwan’s President, adding: “Indeed, I am pleased that you accepted my invitation to visit Saint Lucia. I was particularly anxious that you gain an even better understanding of our country, its people, its strengths, its assets, its culture, and its spirit.”

Of the commemorative signing, the prime minister expressed: “The communiqué that we have jointly prepared and that we have just signed, represents another step towards strengthening our friendship and the mutual progress of our two countries. This communiqué is set in the context of a strong awareness on our part of the difficult economic challenges that are being experienced throughout the world. We too, have not been spared.”

About St Lucia’s relations with Taiwan, Anthony noted: “We recognize the dynamic nature of these relations. It is in that context that we made a deliberate effort not to seem to be interventionist in the affairs of your part of the world, to therefore continue the relationships that we inherited on assuming office, while indicating to our own people our desire to maintain a substantial degree of continuity and stability in the international commitments which Saint Lucia has already made.”

Kenny Anthony took the time to report on the performance of the current Taiwanese Ambassador, based in St Lucia since his arrival on island.

“I mean no offence or discomfort…” Anthony started. “I have to tell you that he has represented the Republic of China (Taiwan) here with diligence, honour and dignity.”

Meanwhile, on Friday by way of a translator President Ma Ying-jeou made a special address to Parliament: “On our way to Parliament, I saw many children waving the ROC flag, and many ROC flags along the streets were flying high and those gestures speak to the close relations between our two governments and peoples. Last November President of the Senate Francis and Speaker of the House Foster paid a visit to Taiwan during which time they exchanged views in a pleasant atmosphere. Today, I was greeted by many familiar faces whom I have met before in Taipei. As soon as I entered Parliament it was like a joyful homecoming. I’ve always believed that peace promotes prosperity…”

The President quoted a line in St Lucia’s National Anthem that was in tandem with his speech: “Gone the days when strife and discord, dimmed her children’s toil and rest. Dawns at last a brighter day, stretches out a glad new way.

“Today, the Caribbeans enjoy peace and stability, allowing St Lucia to pursue domestic infrastructure projects,” he said. “The Republic of China (Taiwan) and St Lucia will embrace freedom, democracy and peace. We have enjoyed close and cordial ties and Taiwan will continue to forge closer relations with your esteemed nation.”

The Taiwanese President and his delegation departed from St Lucia on Sunday, August 18. 2013.

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