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Taiwan playing its part to assist in development of its Caribbean allies

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Editor: I write in response to the commentary titled “Chinese take away?” by Sir Ronald Sanders published in your newspaper on November 23, which advocated that CARICOM countries should negotiate a meaningful treaty with mainland China as a collective rather than if each of them tried to bargain alone, and to negotiate such a treaty with mainland China, CARICOM countries have either for those who now recognize Taiwan to drop that stance, or those that recognize China should proceed with the treaty with mainland China leaving the others to join when they can.{{more}}

As a Taiwanese diplomat stationed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which the two countries will celebrate 30 years of diplomatic ties in 2011, I would like to take this opportunity to emphasize the following points:

1. It is important that CARICOM countries should focus on unifying and strengthening themselves before considering any long-term framework treaty with any big power like mainland China. Negotiating such a treaty with mainland China at the expense of diplomatic ties with Taiwan is unjustifiable.

2. Although Taiwan and its allies in this region are oceans apart, our cordial relations and close cooperation is based on the shared lofty value of democracy, freedom and human rights.

3. In pursuing the relations of progressive partnership and sustainable development, Taiwan has been cultivating mutually beneficial cooperation through a wide range of projects including infrastructure, agriculture, education, human resources, etc.

We are also desiring to promote cooperation in new areas which are vital to national development, such as information and communication technologies (ICT).

4. Taiwan is a responsible and reliable stakeholder in the international community. I do believe that through our joint efforts, the existing cordial relations and close cooperation between Taiwan and its allies in the region will be further strengthened in the years to come.

With regards,

Michael Lin
Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan)