Recently there have been rumors that Saint Lucia, an eastern Caribbean nation, might sever ties with Taiwan. Reports that Saint Lucia might switch diplomatic recognition to China have circulated over the last few years, but the relations between Taiwan and Saint Lucia have remained stable. Last year, Saint Lucia signed an agreement with Desert Star Holdings, a Hong Kong-based company, for the development of the Pearl of the Caribbean, a US$2.6 billion project that will include a marina, horse track, casino, free trade zone, shopping complex and housing complex. The plan is to attract mainland Chinese tourists and investors to Saint Lucia.
In an interview with Prof.Denys Springer, former director of the Government Information Service of Saint Lucia and former research fellow of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, he said that he and many other people from different political parties have put pressure on the current government not to establish diplomatic ties with China.
Saint Lucia first established diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1984, but in 1997, switched recognition to China. In 2007, Taiwan and Saint Lucia resumed diplomatic ties and the relationship was further strengthened with the opening of the embassy of Saint Lucia in Taipei in June 2015, making it the first embassy in Asia.
Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said in the year 2017, he hopes to increase the number of Taiwanese tourists to Israel stating that the number of Taiwanese tourists is between 6,000 and 7,000 which is far from satisfaction even though the number rose from 3,000 in 2010 to around 6,000 in 2014. He will discuss with airline companies both in Taiwan and Israel on the feasibility of direct flight services in the future.
Asher Yarden said the trade volume of US$1.5 billion dollars can also be enhanced. More can be done to increase the understanding of both sides as the Israeli representative says peoples of both sides do not know much about each other and he will do more to promote the bilateral trade relations.
The bilateral trade between Taiwan and Israel reached US $1.5 billion dollars in 2015. Asher Yarden, the representative of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said economic cooperation is important to Israel and in 2016, his office has invited both Taiwanese and Israeli business delegations to visit each other adding that he has also invited Israeli buyers to Taiwan.
Asher Yarden said the signing of the R&D agreement between Taiwan and Israel in 2015 provides a great opportunity for business companies of both sides to work on R&D and develop new products thereby creating new value through integration.More
The Executive Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said the signing of the avoidance of double taxation in January 2016 will create a friendlier environment for bilateral investment for further cooperation in technology, health care and clean energy
He added that he hopes to boost cooperation in the area of clean energy as Canada hopes to expand its energy export market to Taiwan. Taiwan depends on energy exports particularly LNG (liquefied natural gas) as gas accounts for around 30% of the total energy consumption. Current supply sources come from Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Taiwan’s demand for LNG will continues to rise as the government promotes the use of natural gas for a low-carbon environment.
Another cooperation is in the area of the indigenous people. In Canada, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said they are known as the First Nations. The cooperation focuses on education and work of the aboriginal peoples of the two sides.
Taiwan and Canada have enjoyed close bilateral exchanges over the last few decades, this can be seen from the growing number of staff at the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei. According to the executive director, Mr.Mario Ste-Marie, the office was founded in 1986 with only three staff members, but today, there’s around 40 staff handling the increasing exchanges.
As a matter of fact, people to people exchanges between Taiwan and Canada started as early as 1871 when a missionary, Dr.George Leslie Mackay arrived in Taiwan and the establishment of Mackay Memorial Hospital in 1912. Canada granted Taiwanese visa-free privileges in November 2010 and Mr.Mario Ste-Marie said as of August this year, the number of Taiwanese has increased by 26% as compared to the previous year. The Canadian has introduced a new entry requirement and starting November this year, all visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to Canada are required to have an eTA (electronic travel authorization).
For more information regarding eTA, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/
Mme.Zethu Dlamini, the wife of the ambassador of the Kingdom of Swaziland, is a fashion stylist and fashion lifestyle blogger. Zethu Dlamini used to work for Al Ostoura International Company, the oldest luxury fashion retailer in the Middle East, based in Kuwait and for KNOCKBOOK, an online advertising company in Kuwait. She lived in Kuwait before her husband was posted in Taiwan. Zethu Dlamini said there is a connection between Taiwan and Swaziland in the area of charity work, citing an example of Project Cannan that helps abandoned children in Swaziland. Zethu Dlamini said she hopes to do more in the future.
The 22nd session of the Conference to the Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) took place from November 7-18. Tuvalu, Kiribati and Palau are three island nations located in the Pacific Ocean and the effects of the climate change can be seen in these three Pacific countries. The Ambassador of Tuvalu Minute Taupo and the Ambassador of Kiribati Teekoa Iuta both said the rise of sea level is obvious and cyclones become more extreme, adding that the intensity and frequency of days of extreme heat increase and annual rainfall increases as well ocean acidification The Education Attaché of Palau Mr. Jordan Yuri said the sharp decrease of golden jellyfish in Palau due to the effect of climate change is a concrete example. These jellyfish have been known worldwide as they do not sting.More
This year, Kiribati has participated in the Olympic Games in the fourth consecutive time. Tuvalu also sent one athlete and it was the 3rd time for Tuvalu to take part in the international sporting event and it was Palau’s 5th time. The Ambassador of Tuvalu Minute Taupo, the Ambassador of Kiribati Teekoa Iuta and the Education Attaché of Palau Mr. Jordan Yuri all agreed that apart from getting the world to know these south Pacific countries, athletes will also be able perform in the international arena, encouraging more young talents to join the sporting events. Kiribati weightlifter David Kataotau who lost his family in a cyclone danced off the stage each time to raise the awareness of the threat of the climate change poses to his country. Etimoni Timuani, a sprinter from Tuvalu caught the attention saying that he took part to expose his country. His best time is 11.72 seconds This year, Palau’s runner, Rodman Teitull made Olympic history to be the first athlete from Palau to pass the preliminary rounds.More
Caroline Gluck, a former BBC correspondent started to engage in humanitarian aid work in 2009, working for Oxfam and ECHO. Since 2015, she has started to work for UNHCR (United Nations Humanitarian Refugee Agency) based in Baghdad, Iraq. She helped with the humanitarian aid in Haiti after the devastating earthquake and personally witnessed the influx of refugees from Syria to Iraq. Let’s hear from Caroline Gluck, a senior public information officer of UNHCR in Iraq and why she wrote the book No Dead Bodies After 3:30 PM.
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President Tsai Ing-wen on her first National Day address stressed that she would maintain a consistent, predictable and sustainable relationship with mainland China while maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. But China reacted by saying the 1992 consensus remains the touchstone for China’s Taiwan policy. Cross-strait relations have become delicate after President Tsai took office in May. China reiterated that Taiwan must accept the 1992 consensus as a precondition for participating in international organizations and blocked Taiwan’s participation at the world’s leading civil aviation summit, ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) in late September.
Let’s hear from a political scientist from Saint Lucia, Prof.Denys Springer. Prof.Springer is the former director of the Government Information Service of Saint Lucia and a visiting research fellow at Academia SInica, the highest academic institution in Taiwan.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa with a population of around 18 million. Taiwan and Burkina Faso have enjoyed diplomatic relations since 1994. The minister of foreign affairs of Burkina Faso Alpha Barry recently visited Taiwan and said the change of the governments in Taiwan and Burkina Faso has not affected relations between the countries adding that there have many cooperative projects going on. Since 1994, Taiwan has expanded medical cooperation by establishing health centers in villages in Burkina Faso and the National Hospital of Blaise Compaoré is one of the most modern and biggest hospitals in West Africa.
The foreign minister said that Taiwanese project, “A Lamp Lighting up Africa” has helped with providing LED lamps for students in rural areas to study at night. Students have to go to school in the day time to re-charge the lamps and that encourages more young children to receive education.More
Turkish representative, Ambassador Ismet Erikan has been actively promoting Turkey to Taiwanese. He said October is a Turkish month filled with many Turkish cultural activities. Ambassador Ismet Erikan said the launching of the direct flight between Taipei and Istanbul opens a window of opportunity for both Taiwanese and Turkish. He hopes the cargo flight will be filled with merchandise from Turkey to Taiwan one day.
Ambassador Ismet Erikan is a seasoned diplomat and he has been promoting cultural exchanges by helping Turkish artists hold exhibitions in Taiwan. He said cultural diplomacy touches the heart of the people and he vows to go to one university to lecture on Turkey in Taiwan. He even goes to elementary and middle schools to promote his country.
Turkish representative Ambassador Ismet Erikan said Turkey is just as safe as any other major countries in Europe despite the fact Turkey is still placed under the state of emergency citing that the state of emergency applies more to the government rather than to the public. He said any Taiwanese whom he met that has been to Turkey after the attempted military coup said Turkey is a safe travel destination.
The Turkish representative said Taiwanese can apply the Turkish visa on line without having to pay any fee. He jokingly added that one day at a seminar when he mentioned the whole process could be completed within three minutes, a Taiwanese lady corrected him by saying it took her only two minutes.