Fri 5th Oct 2018
Open Letter to Her Excellency Tsai Ing-wen, President of Taiwan
30TH September 2018
Dear President Tsai Ing-wen,
Re: Taiwan should pay EC$51 billion fish tax owed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines
for the period of 2001 to 2017
Taiwan’s fishing vessels are in breach of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) CAP.59 Fisheries Act - Subsidiary Legislation Section 6, Sub Section (2)(a)(i)(ii), which states that ‘the vessel shall at all times in the fishery waters –fly the flag of its flag state, and display in such a way as to be clearly visible both from the sea and from the air’.
Taiwan is using SVG’s flag as its flag state, but Taiwan is not paying fish tax for being listed as a local fishing vessel in the fishery waters under the SVG flag. Taiwan is offloading its fish catch from the Atlantic Ocean in Trinidad, not in SVG, and is not paying fish tax to the SVG Treasury. It is conservatively estimated that Taiwan owes SVG EC$51 billion in fish tax for the period of 2001 to 2017.
On 14 November 2014, Philip Shih, First Secretary (Press) at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in SVG, issued a press release to local newspapers confirming that Taiwanese fishing vessels are registered lawfully in SVG under the High Seas Fishing Act 2001. They operate on the high seas in accordance with the regulations of the International Commission for the
Conservation of Atlantic Tuna.
The Taiwan Press Secretary did acknowledge that Taiwan’s vessels flag state is SVG, and as such, Taiwan must pay fish tax for being local fishing vessels under the law to the SVG Treasury.
All Taiwan’s fishing vessels that operate under CAP 59 Fisheries Act-Subsidiary Legislation Section 6, subsection (2)(a)(i)(ii) using the SVG national flag are required by law to offload their fish catch in SVG and pay fish tax to the SVG Treasury.
Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA makes a strong call on President Tsai Ing-wen to pay this debt to the SVG Treasury without any further delay.
The negative effect of not receiving the EC$51 billion in fish tax from Taiwan for the period of 2001 to 2017 has knocked SVG into the ground with a high rate of unemployment, crime, squalor and it perpetuates deep poverty in SVG.
Taiwan has been highly disrespectful to SVG and has abused SVG’s people for over 30 years. It is no surprise that since 2001, exactly 14 countries have cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and formed ties with China, as Taiwan is milking the small countries it has diplomatic ties with.
Taiwan’s abuse of its diplomatic allies is the reason why more countries sign up to the ‘One China’ policy. Taiwan must pay SVG the fish tax of EC$51 billion dollars now or risk losing another diplomatic ally.
Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA
Leader of SVG Green Party
CC: His Excellency The Governor General of SVG
Hon Chief Justice of OECS
Hon SVG Attorney General
SVG Constitutional Director of Audit
Prime Minister Trinidad and Tobago
United Nations Human Rights Office, Geneva, Switzerland
President Caribbean Development Bank
President the World Bank
President the International Monetary Fund
President of (ICCAT)
SVG Christian Council