Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 14, 2015 (SKNIS)–The Honorable Shawn Richards and the Honorable Mark Brantley held discussions with H.E. Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on a recent visit to that country. The Honorable Ministers were in Taiwan for the celebration of the 104th Anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and attended the festivities at the invitation of the Taiwanese Government.
In his opening statement, President Ma referred to his visit to Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2013 and remarked on the warm welcome he received from the government and people of the Federation. He also thanked the government for its unwavering support in speaking out for Taiwan as he recalled the numerous occasions where government representatives had used the occasion to advocate for Taiwan. President Ma also expressed his desire for Taiwan’s voice to be heard at the upcoming 21st Conference of State Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled for later this year.
The Deputy Prime Minster, Honorable Shawn Richards, who spoke on behalf of the delegation applauded President Ma for his many accomplishments during his term of office and assured him of the continued support of the new Government of National Unity led by Prime Minster Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris. The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the government and people of Taiwan for their support since Saint Kitts and Nevis attained Independence.
“The evidence abounds that Taiwan has proven to be strong, steady and supportive in ways that are tangible and lasting…From the solar farm…to the environmentally friendly eco-park…from cultural exports through the highly successful Youth Ambassadors program to the well established scholarship program…,” the Minister said.
Minister Richards also mentioned the non-governmental exchanges between the two countries and expressed appreciation for the visit of the voluntary medical mission to Saint Kitts and Nevis last month. The Deputy Prime Minister promised also, to advocate for Taiwan’s meaningful involvement in related institutions and agencies of the United Nations. Additionally, an appeal was made for the provision of additional scholarships for citizens of the Federation. President Ma informed the delegation that his country would like to welcome more students and is seeking to expand the areas and disciplines in which applicants chose to pursue studies mentioning in particular, the medical field.
President Ma also mentioned renewable energy as an area of continued cooperation explaining that he was impressed with the force of the wind at the Robert Llewellyn International airport. Minister Richards informed President Ma that in addition to solar and wind, geothermal is of particular interest to the Federation at the moment. President Ma stated in response that both countries have established the foundation for further cooperation and expressed confidence that the relations between Saint Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan will continue to strengthen in the coming years.
Earlier that day, the Ministers also held discussions with the Minister of Culture who expressed an interest in welcoming artists from Saint Kitts and Nevis to Taiwan next year.