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Fri 9th Jun 2006

Reply to China News, Taiwan

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) Green Party has consistently opposed having a dialogue with any Taiwanese official. When the previous Taiwanese Ambassador, Madame Elizabeth Chu wanted to meet with SVG Green Party, SVG Green Party flatly refused. See

http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2005/01/25/with.shtml.

SVG Green Party has serious concerns about the proposed cross-country road project in St. Vincent and the arrangement whereby Taiwanese ships fish in the Atlantic Ocean under St. Vincent's licence. Firstly, as SVG Green Party has already pointed out, the building of the cross country road is illegal as it contravenes a law in St. Vincent, namely the Electricity Act 1973 which forbids building where the proposed cross country roads is planned to go. Although aware that the road is illegal, both President Chen and Prime Minister Gonsalves are adamant it will go ahead. There has been international condemnation about the environmental damage the road will cause. See http://www.svggreenparty.org/news/cross_country_road_illegal.htm

and http://www.birdlife.org/news/pr/2004/12/st_vincent.html

Secondly, tuna fishing is a very lucrative industry and potentially worth tens of millions of dollars to SVG. For some reason though, both the present (Unity Labour Party, ULP) and past (New Democratic Party, NDP) governments have persisted in letting Taiwan reap the benefits of this industry. Again, this arrangement has been some what strange and wholly detrimental to the development of SVG. See http://www.svggreenparty.org/news/taiwan.htm

SVG Green Party has made it clear from the start that an SVG Green Party government will cut ties with Taiwan and form relations with mainland China, and cancel all SVG tuna licence fishing rights made to Taiwan. When President Chen visited St. Vincent in September 2005, SVG Green Party made it clear that he was not welcome, by holding a demonstration at the airport.

Only President Chen and Prime Minister Gonsalves know why Gonsalves is the only foreign dignitary to voice support for President Chen, amidst this strong current to depose President Chen for alleged corruption cases.

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