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.
President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s first woman president pledged to maintain stable cross-strait relations with mainland China in her inaugural address on May 20. President Tsai said she will work to maintain the existing mechanisms for dialogue across the Taiwan Strait adding that she respects the historical fact of the various acknowledgements and understandings reached between the two sides in 1992. But she did not mention the phrase “1992 consensus” as used by the former government and PRC. But she did mention that she would be guided by the Constitution of the Republic of China, a saying that was accepted by China in the past.
Prof.Denys Springer, a visiting scholar at Academia Sinica, the most prominent academic institution in Taiwan, said, as he previously wrote in one of his articles, that President Tsai will manage the cross-strait relationship in a stable manner, a position different from the “once country on each side” stance advocated by former President Chen Shui-bian of the DPP in 2002.More
Father Yves Moal, is planning to build a nursing home, called Yi Feng Garden for the elderly physically and mentally challenged people. He is a 74-year-old French priest who has dedicated his whole life to helping the disadvantaged groups in Taiwan since he arrived in Taiwan at the age of 25. The project requires a total of NT$80 million (US$ 2.47 million) and Father Yves Moal said he has raised NT$30 million (US$ 92 thousand) only so far.
Father Yves Moal was awarded Taiwan’s Presidential Culture Award in the humanitarian category in September 2015 for his devotion to the physically and mentally challenged, homeless, orphans and other underprivileged groups in Taiwan.
Apart from fundraising, Father Yves Moal runs a second-hand bookstore and relies on selling furniture made by the residents of St.Andrew Training Center, a center he is in charge of and is now home to around 50 physically and mentally challenged people in Hualien, eastern Taiwan.
For more information about St.Andrew Training Center (in Chinese), please visit https://www.facebook.com/anders/More
The Taiwanese government has developed aquaculture in Saint Lucia by helping local farmers breed fresh water prawns, tilapia and crayfish in ponds and has helped establish a tissue culture lab and two orchid green houses. Saint Lucia now grows more than 40 species of orchids. Aquaculture and agriculture are important to the tourism industry in Saint Lucia.
Bananas are an important export item for Saint Lucia. But since 2010, the banana industry has been threatened by black sigatoka, a banana leaf spot disease that can cut the fruit production in half. Small farmers could not afford expensive measures to fight the disease and the government of Taiwan has then helped farmers in Saint Lucia fight the disease, improve productivity and restore the banana growing capacity.More
Saint Lucia is an island country located in the eastern Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean nation opened an embassy in Taiwan in June 2015, in an effort to strengthen bilateral ties and it is the first embassy of Saint Lucia in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan and Saint Lucia established diplomatic ties in 2007 and the ambassador of Saint Lucia, Ambassador Hubert Emmanuel said both sides have been working on a wide range of cooperative projects including public health, aquaculture, education, infrastructure and culture.
In the field of public health, Taiwan’s Changhua Christian Hospital established partnership with Saint Jude Hospital in Saint Lucia in 2009 and they have helped train medical staff in Saint Lucia ever since.More
According to Prof.Lee Hong-yuan, a professor in the department of civil engineering at National Taiwan University, currently there are around 6.5 million buildings, older than 30 years in Taiwan and the government needs to demonstrate stronger coordination among different ministries and local governments in order to cope with a future devastating earthquake in Taiwan.
Government statistics show that more than 8.6 million people live in 2.5 million buildings within 10 kilometers of an active fault line and many of these buildings are over 30 years. In early March, the government announced the database of some areas in Taiwan that are prone to soil liquefaction. Soil liquefaction has become an issue of public concern in Taiwan as many believed that it was the main factor that caused the death of 117 people in a major earthquake that hit southern Taiwan in February this year.More