Taiwan, St. Lucia discuss climate change at bilateral meeting

11/29/2022 06:18 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (front left) welcomes visiting Saint Lucia Prime Minister Philip Pierre (in red tie) with a military salute at the Presidential Office Building on Tuesday. CNA photo Nov. 29, 2022
President Tsai Ing-wen (front left) welcomes visiting Saint Lucia Prime Minister Philip Pierre (in red tie) with a military salute at the Presidential Office Building on Tuesday. CNA photo Nov. 29, 2022

Taipei, Nov. 29 (CNA) Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip Pierre and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) held a bilateral meeting Tuesday to explore possible cooperation on tackling climate change and other challenges.

The discussions touched on the international situation and issues of mutual concern, including climate change and the youth economy, according to Tsai, who hosted a military salute to welcome Pierre and his delegation ahead of the bilateral meeting.

Pierre, who arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a five-day visit, said the effect of pandemics and climate change has encouraged nations to re-examine their paths and seek new solutions.

Describing climate change as a shared crisis that threatens the survival of both Saint Lucia and Taiwan, Pierre called for cooperation between the two nations to address it.

"We must cooperate to advance the cause for loss and damage agreements to be honored by those primarily responsible," he added, without elaborating.

Pierre also expressed gratitude to Taiwan's government and people for "timely" humanitarian support when the Caribbean nation has faced such challenges as COVID-19 and natural disasters.

Taiwan has been a true and dear friend for Saint Lucia amid global volatility and uncertainty, he said.

"We are grateful for and look forward to your continued and even increased support for some of our national developmental ambitions, whether these be in areas of education, agriculture, youth economy, housing assistance, digital transformation, or crime management systems," the prime minister added.

At the same time, Pierre said, Saint Lucia will continue to "champion and support the meaningful participation of Taiwan in the organs and agencies of the United Nations and other international agencies."

"My country will continue to, at every opportunity, reaffirm its belief in respecting the territorial integrity of nations, and the observance of international rules on the peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries," he said.

Meanwhile, Tsai said she looks forward to seeing Taiwan and Saint Lucia further "strengthen exchanges and cooperation across all domains," adding that the two countries should jointly seize opportunities amid the global economic recovery.

"I firmly believe that Taiwan and Saint Lucia will continue to deepen our partnership in the spirit of mutual assistance," Tsai said.

During the Caribbean delegation's current visit from Nov. 28 - Dec. 2 -- Pierre's first official state visit to Taiwan since assuming office in July 2021 -- the prime minister is also scheduled to meet with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) separately, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

The delegation will also travel to Kaohsiung, where they will visit Kaohsiung City Government and National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, MOFA said.

Pierre's delegation includes Shawn A. Edward, minister of education, sustainable development, innovation, science, technology and vocational training; Evaristus Jn. Marie, chair of the National Insurance Corporation; and Daryl Raymond, chairman of Saint Lucia Development Bank, MOFA said.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) and Saint Lucia first established diplomatic relations in 1984, but ties were severed in 1997 when the Caribbean country switched recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

In April 2007, Taiwan and Saint Lucia reestablished diplomatic relations, and China consequently severed formal ties with the latter.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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