China threatens to take action against local government
By Nicole Mc Donald
St Lucia’s decision to establish diplomatic ties with Taiwan over China has gotten the island more international attention than did the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup. Not even Flintoff flip-flopping in our waters got us into the Washington Post.
So how come tourism gurus Berthia Parle and Hilary Modeste, who advised us to use the Flintoff-affair to market the island are yet to say the same about our China-Taiwan saga. After all we have been looking for a way to get St Lucia on the world map for some time. Pissing off one of the most powerful nations in world is surely getting us the most publicity we have had in eons.
Google St Lucia on the Internet now and a series of articles with AP pictures of our foreign affairs minister hugging his Taiwanese counterpart pop up.Yes, most of the articles read: “Small island nation angers China,” but no publicity is bad publicity, right? Just think about it, the St Lucia Tourist Board could market us as ‘David’ going up against the giant ‘Goliath’. Although as the story turned out in the trusted Bible, David won his fight. It’s still unclear whether China will squish us into nothingness as they have threatened to.
A strong worded press release sent to the STAR this week shows that China is not mincing words on the issue. Not surprising considering that on the last visit of Taiwanese officials to St Lucia the Chinese ambassador to St Lucia had advised the island’s leaders not to let the Taiwanese past immigration. Their latest release is even stronger. “We are shocked by Saint Lucian Government’s decision to resume the so-called ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan and by the signing of relevant communiqué.” This was followed by information about the One-China policy and this:
“ . . .This is highly offensive to the Chinese people, and it seriously undermines the friendly relations and cooperation between our countries and the friendship between our peoples. China hereby lodges a strong protest against this move, which is absolutely unacceptable to the Chinese side. The Chinese side urges Saint Lucia to value the long-term and larger interests of our two countries and peoples, immediately reverse its wrong decision to resume ‘diplomatic relations’ with Taiwan and return to the correct one China position. The Chinese people cherish their friendship with the St Lucian people.
However, if the St Lucian government continues to act willfully, it must bear full responsibility for the consequences arising therefrom, and the Chinese side reserves the right to take further action.”What action can China take? Well, for one thing there’s their influence on the World Bank. The STAR contacted the Chinese embassy for further comment to no avail. Word is the embassy is waiting on advice from mainland China for direction on their next move.
Caption: Cabinet ministers pose with Taiwan delegation. But why are some ministers missing?