Saint Lucia chooses to be diplomatic ally with Taiwan: PM

11/30/2022 10:15 PM
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Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre (right) and Education Minister Shawn Edward. Pierre points to the location of his office in a large photograph of the Saint Lucian capital city of Castries. CNA photo Nov. 30, 2022
Prime Minister of Saint Lucia Philip J. Pierre (right) and Education Minister Shawn Edward. Pierre points to the location of his office in a large photograph of the Saint Lucian capital city of Castries. CNA photo Nov. 30, 2022

Taipei, Nov. 30 (CNA) Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre said on Wednesday that his country does not believe in interference in the internal affairs of other countries and chooses to be diplomatic ally with Taiwan.

"We believe in all states having responsibility for their own foreign policy, we do not interfere in the internal relations of states," Pierre said during an interview at the Embassy of Saint Lucia in Taipei. "It's our choice as a country to establish diplomatic relations with Taiwan, and that has been our choice."

Pierre, who arrived in Taiwan on Monday for a five-day state visit, his first as Prime Minister since taking up the post on Aug. 4, 2021, was asked by CNA if his government had been asked by China to establish official diplomatic relations with Beijing.

"We respect the sovereignty of Taiwan, we respect the sovereignty of all states, we do not believe in interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, so we've chosen now to be diplomatic ally of Taiwan and that's what we are," Pierre replied.

Citing mutual respect for both country's democratic traditions and the way they hold elections, Pierre pointed out that Saint Lucia and Taiwan can teach other countries many things.

"We know how to run elections, and that is something we can teach states. I'm sure Taiwan can teach larger countries transitions," Pierre said. "We do not believe in invasions, we do not believe in the use of force, we believe in peaceful transitions of government."

Pierre also added that his government has always advocated that Taiwan should have a voice in the international community, such as at the United Nations and Interpol.

Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (left) and Premier Su Tseng-chang exchange gifts when they meet in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Nov. 30, 2022
Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (left) and Premier Su Tseng-chang exchange gifts when they meet in Taipei Wednesday. CNA photo Nov. 30, 2022

Meanwhile, the Saint Lucian prime minister described his official visit as a trip to express gratitude for the support the government and people of Taiwan have shown his country.

"I'm here to express my gratitude, the gratitude of all the people of Saint Lucia. I'm also here to strengthen the bonds of friendship that exist between our two islands," Pierre said.

He also hopes to gain a better understanding of life in Taiwan after learning about the discipline and resilience of the Taiwanese people, Pierre said.

Pierre's delegation met with Republic of China (Taiwan) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on 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.

The Republic of China 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, The two countries reestablished diplomatic relations, and China severed formal ties with Saint Lucia.

(By William Yen)

Enditem/AW

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Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (right) attends a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu in Taipei on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Visiting Saint Lucian Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre (right) attends a banquet hosted by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu in Taipei on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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