Washington, Nov. 6 (CNA) A group of U.S. and Taiwan officials has jointly visited St. Lucia to increase private sector investment in the Caribbean nation, the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Barbados tweeted Thursday.
The Twitter post showed a photo of Republic of China Ambassador to St. Lucia Shen Cheng-tsung (沈正宗) touring a U.S.-owned factory complex there, accompanied by Erik Bethel, an executive director of the World Bank, St. Lucia Governor Nancy Charles and U.S. Department of State official Corey Johnston.
According to diplomatic sources, the visit marked the first time officials from the two countries had jointly embarked on a trade mission to one of Taiwan's diplomatic allies.
The trip was aimed at helping Taiwan consolidate relations with its allies through the promotion of increased trade and investment, the sources said.
The visit came after Taiwan lost two allies -- the Solomon Islands and Kiribati -- in September.
Taiwan now has only 15 diplomatic allies.
The severance of ties subsequently prompted the U.S. to hold a meeting in October with representatives from seven of Taiwan's diplomatic allies in an effort help the country keep its remaining allies around the world.
Among the top issues on the agenda at the meeting was how to strengthen cooperation between Taiwan and its allies in the Western Hemisphere through a wide range of measures to facilitate infrastructure, trade and investment, as well as how to safeguard democratic values.
The meeting was organized by Washington in conjunction with the joint annual meeting of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in Washington.