By: Precious Mills
BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 10th October 2018)-The Embassy of The Republic of China (Taiwan), over the past weekend, observed its nation’s 107th National Day with a dinner ceremony held at the Royal St.Kitts Hotel.
On Friday 5th October- five days before the actual commemorative date (10th October)- Taiwanese and local government officials as well as other invited guests assembled for the celebratory toast event.
The scrumptious buffet style menu included pigeon peas and rice, local green salad, steamed vegetables, sweet potato pie, chicken and fish.
Entertainment was provided by the Pantastics Steelpan Orchestra whose performance included two renditions namely ‘The Moon Represents My Heart’ and ‘Friends’.
Newly-appointed Resident Taiwan ambassador Tom Lee said Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, who entered office in May 2016, “has committed to enhancing freedom, democracy, prosperity and justice in Taiwan.”
“In addition, several projects under the Five Plus Two Innovative Industries initiatives, such as Asian Silicon Valley, Asia-Pacific Biomedicine R&D Center, Shalun, Green Energy Science City, National Defense Research Center, have been put in motion to promote structural economic transformation in Taiwan,” he shared.
According to him, through the joint efforts of the government and people, “Taiwan is gradually leaving behind a period of slow growth and creating a new wave of economic momentum. As of December last year, Taiwan was the 22nd-largest economy in the whole world. Taiwan’s GDP is now forecasted to grow by 2.6 percent this year.”
Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis I believe you all know that the Republic of China (Taiwan) was the first country that recognized the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis. Our diplomatic tie was established on October 9, 1983, less than a month after the independence of St. Kitts and Nevis. Both countries have enjoyed very cordial relations since that time.
He spoke about the diplomatic ties between St.Kitts-Nevis and the Republic of China (Taiwan) which was established on October 9, 1983, less than a month after the Federation’s independence with Taiwan being the first to recognise St.Kitts-Nevis.
“Both countries have enjoyed very cordial relations since that time,” he said.
Ambassador Lee noted that the Federation’s 35th Independence anniversary is also the celebration of 35 years of diplomatic ties.
He pointed out that the Taiwan government participated in the celebration of the nation’s independence with the first time visit of honour guards.
“In order to celebrate these very meaningful occasions, as well as to further solidify the thirty-five years of strong bonds of friendship between our two countries, our government sent a contingent of honor guards to participate in your independence celebration. It was the first time that our honor guards travelled abroad to perform, and they gave their first time to St. Kitts and Nevis. I believe you all enjoyed their performance,” he said
The Taiwanese Ambassador continued: “At the same time, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis sent The Pantastics, a very renowned steel pan group, to Taiwan. Tonight, we also invite them to play. Their music was highly appreciated by Taiwanese people. I was told that after their performance, a lot of Taiwanese inquired about where to learn steel Pan in Taiwan.”
In speaking about the ongoing bond between Taiwan and St.Kitts-Nevis on the subject of cooperative projects, he stated: “As a strong ally of St.Kitts-Nevis, over the years, we have worked with your government and actively participated in your national development especially in the areas of agriculture, ICT and health. Of course, we focus a lot on the transfer of our technology and the know how to St. Kitts and Nevis, also the development of your Human Resources such as the providing of scholarships and vocational training etc.”
Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris in his remarks while highlighting Taiwan historical progress, which included difficult times, commented in part: “This has been a long journey for Taiwan … From then til now Taiwan is an international star whose light cannot be dimmed.”
He added: “Taiwan stands tall among all countries of the world, large and small and while in terms of a population of 23 plus million, it is still a relatively small country compared to its closest neighbour China with 1.3 billion. Taiwan, however, has done so excellent a job in handling its affairs that today it stands number 22 largest economy in the world.”
Dr. Harris praised Taiwan for being “one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world” whilst adding “and certainly we have benefited from that capacity that Taiwan has in the establishment of our very own ITC centre which was opened earlier this year.”
Additionally, he talked about other benefits to the Federation with regard to setting up of medical health systems and in other wide areas of cooperation while spotlighting Taiwan’s accomplishment in a diversified economy, skills and capacities in education and manufacturing sector.
According to him, St.Kitts-Nevis is the “most reliable friend that Taiwan has in the Caribbean.”
In pointing out that the Federation has been the only Caribbean nation that has never wavered in its support, he told: “Therefore, Taiwan knows that it can count on us and we have given the strongest possible support we could to Taiwan in its aspirations to make a useful contribution to humanity through its participation and involvement in international bodies in particular those that are part and parcel of United Nations system…”
Parliamentary Representative (for Constituency Three) of the Opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, during an interview with this media house, spoke on behalf of the Opposition of National Parliament and the opposition leader Dr. Denzil L. Douglas in extending heartfelt congratulations to the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in celebrating their 107th National Day.
“The people of Taiwan have been very generous to the people of St.Kitts-Nevis over three decades of diplomatic ties and it has yielded in tremendous benefits for the people of St.Kitts and Nevis and we will long hold them as dear friends of the Federation so we just want to take this opportunity to wish them all best and many more years of their national day and sovereignty as they move forward,” he remarked.
A Toast to Taiwan’s 107th National Day featuring the newly-appointed Resident Taiwan ambassador Tom Lee (center), Governor General Sir Tapley Seaton (second from right); Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris (second from left) next to Nevis’ Premier Mark Brantley and also (right end) government minister Eugene Hamilton (Spokesman Snap)
Section of the audience (Spokesman Snap)