By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter
” (Basseterre, St. Kitts)”It was more than a celebration of politics and diplomacy; it was a celebration of friendship. The Republic of China (Taiwan) celebrated its 97th National Day on October 10. To mark the special event, the Taiwanese Embassy in St. Kitts and Nevis hosted a special reception at the Formosa Garden Restaurant in Fortlands, Basseterre, on October 9. Many government officials, dignitaries and distinguished guests attended the celebration. His Excellency, Acting Governor General Edmund Lawrence, Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Sam Condor, Leader of the Opposition (PAM), Lindsay Grant, and Chief Secretary, Mr. Joseph Edmeade,” Mr. Terrence Byron, First St. Kitts-Nevis Ambassador to Taiwan, were present.” The Republic of China, the first republic of Asia, which developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against China’s Qing Dynasty, was founded officially on January 1, 1912. Later, October 10, known popularly as “Double Tenth”, was assigned as the National Day of the country instead of the original of their foundation. His Excellency, Ambassador Rong-chuan Wu, highlighted the political imbroglio between the People’s Republic of China (China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan). “Because of the Cold War, Taiwan was recognized as the sole legitimate government representing both Mainland China and Taiwan in the United Nations (UN) until the UN gave in to communist’s demands. In 1971, Taiwan was expelled from the UN and replaced by China,” Ambassador Wu said. Ambassador Wu said that China has adopted a policy of refusing diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes Taiwan. “Through this practice of mutually exclusive diplomacy, China has successfully managed to isolate Taiwan in the international community. Today, Taiwan is officially recognized by only 23 countries throughout the world,” Ambassador Wu said. The Taiwanese Ambassador highlighted that although Taiwan is an island nation with scarce resources and prone to natural disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes, the wise policies of the government, a favorable international economic environment and its hardworking 23 million people, Taiwan has managed to transform itself from a war-torn economy in 1949 into the world’s 18th largest economy. Taiwan’s exports reached US$246 billion US” in 2008, Ambassador Wu said. Ambassador Wu highlighted the relationship between his country and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. “Both the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) cherish the same causes of freedom, democracy, and human rights and have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship, through various cooperation projects, since the establishing of diplomatic relations 25 years ago,” he said. “The government and people of Taiwan are obliged for the staunch support of the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis in the international community. We are honoured to have the opportunities to provide our humble assistance and to share the development experience with you for the past years. The mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by both of our countries serves as an example for international relations,” Ambassador Wu said. St. Kitts has fertile land, much rainfall and an excellent agricultural environment, Ambassador Wu said. “I am convinced that with scrupulous planning the Federation will not only achieve self-sufficiency in agricultural produce but also will have surplus for export to the neighboring countries,” the Ambassador said. The Hon. Sam Condor, who was deputizing for Prime Minister Denzil Douglas and Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that he was particularly honoured to address the gathering on Taiwan’s 97th National Day. “I am sure you are aware that the Republic of China on Taiwan could be considered as our closest friends and allies and so I want on behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis to extend heartiest congratulations to the government and people of Taiwan on their 97th anniversary,” Mr. Condor said. “We have been making since 1983 a call for the Republic of China on Taiwan to be recognized in the international community. We have done this consistently and persistently throughout the years,” Mr. Condor said. “Tonight, I echo and repeat that call.” Mr. Condor said that when he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs he made a call for Taiwan to be included in the international community at the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000. “In addition, St. Kitts and Nevis, reiterates its call for discussion of the Chinese people on Taiwan. Again, we emphasize that our policy seeks to promote respect for the sovereignty of states, however, as we reflect on the mission of this institution, we deem it appropriate to consider the invaluable contribution of the 23 million Chinese people on Taiwan who can add great substance to international discourse,” Mr. Condor said in September 2000 at the United Nations. “I think by any measure, by any index that is used, be it your economic indices of export earnings, “of economic development, Taiwan is considered among the top 10 countries of the world,” Mr. Condor said. Mr. Condor closed his speech by echoing gratitude and appreciation for the friendship and cooperation between the two countries and a commitment to continue to work and build the excellent relationship.
Taiwan Celebrates 97th National Day With Special Reception
By Lesroy W. Williams Observer Reporter