St. Lucia keeping ties to Taiwan
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – A new St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government will not break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan immediately but is prepared to hear Taipei’s case for continued diplomatic relations with Castries, the SLP leader Dr. Kenny Anthony has said.
Speaking to reporters after the preliminary results were announced following Monday’s general election, Anthony, whose previous administration had enjoyed diplomatic relations with China, said both countries would be given an opportunity of putting forward their case to his new administration.
The issue of Taiwan has been a major talking point here with the SLP, when in opposition accusing the Asian country, which China considers a renegade province of interfering in the internal affairs of St. Lucia.
“Well I did make a statement on radio a few days ago, we have to behave in a civilised way. We have no intention of throwing out the Taiwanese the day after. That would be wrong, that would be improper. I have indicated that we hear both sides, we will certainly invite the Taiwanese to come in and speak to us and with us, likewise if the People’s Republic of China expresses an interest we will hear them.
“We will …make an informed decision after hearing both sides,” Anthony said, adding that the “most important consideration in all of this is the interest of St. Lucia.
“The interest of St. Lucia is the paramount consideration and we will take into account when we make that decision. So contrary to all the propaganda we have no intention of asking the Taiwanese to leave tomorrow morning,” Anthony added.
St. Lucia broke off diplomatic relations with China in favour of Taiwan in 2006, soon after the United Workers Party (UWP) won the general election with Sir John Compton at the helm.
In Monday’s general election, the UWP, had been predicting a 14-3 victory in its favour for a second consecutive term in office.