Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 20, 2015 (SKNIS): While on a five-day visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan) Prime Minister Dr. the Honorable Timothy Harris discussed ideas and avenues for further cooperation with Taiwan Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin.
Prime Minister Harris’ presence in Taiwan and his meeting with Minister Lin, highlighted the long-standing bilateral ties between the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan. During the meeting with him, Dr Harris emphasized that the friendship between both countries “pre-dates our Independence and it has certainly stood the test of time, being built on the pillars of trust and genuine allegiance in the interest of our mutual development on local, regional and international stages.”
He also expressed his government’s appreciation to the government and people of Taiwan for their partnership over the years, which enabled the Federation to make significant progress as a developing nation.
“Evidence of this fraternity is scattered throughout the island, from the Government Headquarters’ Solar Power Project and the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Airport Solar Farm, to the L.E.D Lighting project and beautiful Eco-Park, just to name a few,” Prime Minister Harris said, while specifying that the stunningly beautiful Eco-Park “is fast becoming an eclectic addition to our tourism product, the likes of which is a novelty to member states in the OECS”.
In discussing future collaborative projects, Prime Minister Harris mentioned plans for expanding cooperation in the fields of health care and alternative energy. He identified Cathay General Hospital, which is considered among the top health care facilities in Taiwan, and which has a track record of international cooperation, as a possible partner to achieve this goal.
Foreign Minister Lin supported Prime Minister Harris’ suggestion to expand the health sector cooperation projects. He revealed that the Dean of the Cathay General Hospital had, at a ceremony, earlier that day, been awarded a Friendship Medal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the hospital’s promotion of Taiwan’s soft power and international cooperation through its outreach and services in many countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations. Minister Lin further noted that Taiwan would be sending a medical mission to the Federation in September to further develop strategies for future cooperation.
Later that evening, in his remarks at a special dinner which he hosted in honour of Prime Minister Harris, Minister Lin reaffirmed mutually beneficial ties.
“I firmly believe that the exchanges between our highest ranking officials are some of the best ways to promote our bilateral cooperation and interests,” Minister Lin emphasized. “…I also believe that there are a few other areas in which we could further cooperate…” Minister Lin thanked the government of St. Kitts and Nevis for its past support and entreated Prime Minister Harris to use upcoming international platforms to inform other countries of Taiwan’s desire to constructively engage the international community.
Prime Minister Harris’ official visit to Taiwan continues today when he will be the special guest of President of the Republic of China Ma Ying-jeou.