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.
The United Workers Party (UWP) of Saint Lucia won the general election in June 2016 and Prof.Denys Springer, a research fellow at Academia Sinica, the national academy of Taiwan and former director of Government Information Service of Saint Lucia said he believes the relations between Taiwan and Saint Lucia will continue to grow stronger.
Prof.Denys Springer said Saint Lucia has benefited a lot from Taiwan in a vast majority of areas including in agriculture, food processing, aquaculture, public health and infrastructure. Prof.Denys Springer stated that Saint Lucia mainly depends on revenue from tourism and banana production, adding that Saint Lucia should transform itself into a high-tech island like Taiwan. Taiwan has helped fight black sigatoka, a banana leaf spot disease and Saint Lucia used to be an important exporter of bananas to Europe.More
Taiwan and Saint Lucia resumed diplomatic ties in 2007 after a ten-year break and in 2015, Saint Lucia opened its embassy in Taipei, the first embassy of Saint Lucia in Asia. On June 9, President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Lin Chuan sent congratulations to the new prime minister of Saint Lucia. Political Leader of the United Workers Party (UWP), Allen Chastanet, was officially sworn in as Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, succeeding Dr. Kenny Anthony on June 7, 2016.
Prof.Denys Springer, a research fellow at Academia Sinica, the national academy of Taiwan and former director of Government Information Service of Saint Lucia believes the new administration in Saint Lucia will work closer with the new government of Taiwan.More
The ambassador of Nauru, Ambassador Ludwig Keke has been posted in Taiwan for nine and a half years and he said the most challenging part of his work during his posting was the establishment the embassy in Taiwan, adding that many people and diplomats from other countries gave a helping hand such as the former ambassador of the Solomon Islands. Asked what he likes most about Taiwan, he said the friendliness of the people and that when he finds out that his wife, Mme Ann Keke can walk alone in the middle of night safely without any worry, he is happy as well.
Mme Ann Keke said the memories they are going to take back to Nauru include the friendliness of the people, the food, the safety of the city and the convenience of multi-purpose convenience stores in Taiwan where you can pick up your laundry or products purchased on line, buy tickets, apart from the normal functions of convenience stores in other countries.
They have been happily married for almost fifty years with two sons; Kieren Keke, a former minister of foreign affairs of Nauru and house speaker; the other is Kristian Keke, a senior pilot for Japan-based ANA airlines (All Nippon Airways). Mme Ann Keke said the most challenging part being a diplomat’s wife is that she doesn’t get to be with family members all the time.More
The ambassador of Nauru, Ambassador Ludwig Keke has been posted in Taiwan for nine and a half years since he first arrived in 2007. In April this year, then-Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin, on behalf of then-President Ma, conferred the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon upon Ambassador Keke in recognition of his outstanding contributions to bilateral relations.
Ambassador Keke is a senior politician and diplomat. He is also the most senior member of Nauru’s Parliament and served as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker once. He was also the envoy of Nauru to Fiji. Ambassador Keke went to Queensland University majoring in dentistry. He was a dentist in Brisbane, Australia before going back to Nauru to serve as a dentist and a politician in 1967. Madame Ann Keke, an Australian of Dutch origin was in Nauru when she met Ambassador Ludwig Keke. They have been happily married for almost fifty years with two sons.More