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Fri 11th Oct 2019

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Taiwan’s ambassador to SVG: pack your bags and go back to Taiwan

Taiwan lost another ally in the Pacific Ocean after the island nation of Kiribati switched diplomatic recognition to China. Kiribati cut ties with Taiwan just four days after the Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan in September 2019.

Kiribati is the seventh country to cut ties with Taiwan in three years and leaves Taiwan with only 15 diplomatic partners. Kiribati's decision is another coup for China as it celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on October 1.

SVG’s tie with Taiwan is a toxic relationship. Taiwan came to SVG 39 years ago, apparently to help our country. Yet SVG is still very poor, with a weak economy, high unemployment and a high level of poverty. Taiwan is a parasite in SVG and not a friend of our country.

Kiribati’s decision leaves Taiwan with four remaining Pacific allies: Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Marshall Islands. However, the South Pacific state of Tuvalu also picked a new prime minister, shunning its former leader Enele Sopoaga, who had been a strong supporter of Taipei while in office.

Over the decades, as China's economic and military power has grown, most countries - including the United States and most Western nations - have switched recognition to Beijing.

To boost our economy, SVG must cut ties with Taiwan immediately and start trading with China. China is a global economic super-power and most of the world – almost 200 countries – trade with China. It is stupid for SVG not to be trading with China and bad for SVG businesses.

Taiwan is a dirty dog. Taiwan is bleeding our country dry. Taiwan creams-off about EC$2 billion annually from SVG’s High Seas Fish Licence and the use of SVG’s national flag on its fishing vessels in international waters. Taiwan is holding back our economy as Taiwan does not pay any tax in SVG.

Taiwan has failed to invest in SVG and create strong sustainable industries. Taiwan has not built one factory in SVG. Taiwan is technology-advanced, but has not provided SVG with any technology transfer. Taiwan has not set up any trade deals to help SVG export to Taiwan.

In over 38 years, Taiwan has not imported one dollar of goods from SVG companies. Even though it is obvious that our economy is weak and our people are suffering, Taiwan does not set up bi-lateral trade deals with SVG.

Taiwan’s presence in SVG is holding back our economy. All the countries ditching the dirty dog Taiwan believe that their new relationship with China will lead to trade, investment opportunities, and in particular, the exporting of more goods from their country to China.

This is what SVG needs – a partner who will help SVG’s companies to export. We should cut ties with the parasite Taiwan and form ties with China. This would boost our economy and create thousands of new jobs.

The Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (hons), MSc, MBA, is making a very strong call on Taiwan’s Ambassador to SVG to pack his bags and go back to Taiwan, as there is no net benefit to SVG from Taiwan’s presence SVG.

It is conservatively estimated that for the period 2001 to 2018, Taiwan owes the SVG Treasury EC$54 billion in Fish Tax that Taiwan has not paid. The ULP regime allows Taiwan to exploit our people and country.

An SVG Green Party government would be fully justified in cutting ties with Taiwan and opening ties with mainland China, just like Kiribati. It is only when Taiwan has left SVG that our country will start to move forward and the economy become strong.

SVG must go in a new direction, away from the begging and borrowing culture that Taiwan and the ULP regime propagate. Their strategy is destroying SVG and our children’s future. Taiwan’s ambassador to SVG should pack his bags and go back to Taiwan.

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