Above: St Lucia
By the Caribbean Journal staff
St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony ended months of speculation Tuesday night in announcing that St Lucia would indeed maintain its diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
He revealed the decision in a national address Tuesday night.
“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 organizations,” Anthony said.
St Lucia, under Anthony , had broken ties with Taiwan in favour of China in 1997. Stephenson King, the country’s current opposition leader, returned to relations with Taiwan in 2007 as Prime Minister.
Anthony had signaled during the election campaign in late 2011 that he might consider returning to ties with China.
It seems that the constant see-saw led to Anthony’s decision to remain with Taiwan.
“We recognize, too, that, in China’s language, ‘there is but one China.’ But we also recognize 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.”
The move came a few weeks after a committee concluded its review of the country’s relations with Taiwan and with China.
St Lucia’s government has reportedly told Taiwanese Ambassador James Chang that the future of diplomatic relations between the two countries must be based on “respect for St Lucia’s laws, St Lucia’s traditions, culture and absolute non-interference in St Lucia’s domestic political affairs.”
Anthony also revealed that his government had initiated investigation into alleged payments made to members of the former government by Taiwan 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 authorization of the use of the funds,” Anthony said.
St Lucia has retained the services of forensic accountant Bob Lindquist to examine the alleged transactions.
He also announced that St Lucia would be receiving a report into the operations of district councils in the country with regard to their use of Taiwanese funds.