A record number of people showed up for the celebration.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — On Sept. 19, nationals, diplomats and well-wishers were greeted by Honourable Vance W. Amory, Senior Minister and Minister of Nevis Affairs, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, who came to Taiwan to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of St. Kitts and Nevis Independence celebrations, and H. E. Jasmine Huggins, Ambassador of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Vice President of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Chen Chien-jen, also attended the reception along with other government officials from Taiwan. They included Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Joseph Wu, President of the Control Yuan, Chang Bo-yia, and Chairperson of the Straits Exchange Foundation and former ambassador of Taiwan to the Federation Mrs. Catherine Chang.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Maria Liu, and former ambassadors of Taiwan to the Federation Marietta Liao and George Chou were also in attendance along with members of the diplomatic corps and representatives of foreign offices.

In her speech to introduce Senior Minister Amory, Ambassador Huggins expressed deep appreciation to everyone who made the celebrations possible and especially thanked the Pantastics, who were invited to Taiwan for the events and special guests the Jiaxin Elementary school choir from the Atayal aboriginal who had travelled from central Taiwan to perform with the Pantastics.

In his remarks, the senior Minister recounted the past and spoke of the great strides the Federation made over the past 35 years. In conveying gratitude of behalf of the government and people for the support Taiwan had given to Saint Kitts and Nevis over the past 35 years.

Senior Minister Amory quoted Shakespeare to encapsulate the relationship between Taiwan and Saint Kitts and Nevis “Those friends thou hast and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.”

Vice President Chen, who delivered remarks on behalf of the government of Taiwan, first made mention of the impressive performance of the steelpan orchestra, commenting that it was the first time for him to hear the Hallelujah Chorus played by a steel band and also expressed his delight that the elementary school students had participated in the celebrations.

He expressed hope that in building on the foundations of bilateral ties established 35 years prior, bridges can continue to be built to “strengthen government cooperation and private exchanges as well.”

Vice President Chen also mentioned that in honour of the large independence celebrations scheduled to take place in the Federation, the National Honora Guard of Taiwan was sent to the Saint Kitts and Nevis to bolster military exchanges.

After the formal ceremony, guests were treated to a Caribbean-centric dinner buffet while being treated to the vibrant sounds of the steel band music from the Pantastics, as students from the Federation joined in an impromptu dance session with the elementary school children.