Late last year, then NDP and Opposition Leader, Arnhim Eustace, said that his party no longer supports Taiwan, which China considers a renegade province.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is among a small number of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries that have diplomatic relations with Taipei even though Beijing has said that it wanted all countries to adopt the One China policy which is different from the “One China principle” that insists both Taiwan and mainland China are inalienable parts of a single “China”.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has said that his Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration remains committed to maintaining ties with Taipei as opposed to Beijing.
Opposition Leader Dr. Godwin Friday told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the NDP still maintains its support for the One-China policy.
“The policy remains the same. We are in opposition so we have stated our support and our commitment to the One-China Policy. That hasn’t changed. We are not in government so we can only maintain that position in opposition,” Friday said.
“As you know, we stated that position back in August last year at a press conference here and that remains the position of our party and we will continue to pursue that in government, when we will have the means to do something about it.”
Asked if the opposition has made formal contacts with Beijing, Friday replied “we have communicated our position and we are looking forward to the day when we become the government and we can adopt that policy formally as our policy in the country and to work with the government there in the People’s Republic of China to our mutual benefit and the benefit of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
Friday has noted that “other countries in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the region have adopted that policy.
“It is the predominant policy worldwide and it is one that really is our party coming into line with that international consensus, broad consensus and the step, of course, is to make the country follow in that lead as well,” Friday said, dismissing reports that he is to travel to Beijing soon.
“I don’t know where you get your information from. If you have information of that sort, maybe you should send the ticket. No, I don’t have that information,” he said, neith4er confirming or denying that he has been invited to visit China.
“Well, I am not going to discuss matters relating to our policy and the discussions that the party is having whether with any particular party that are not public matters.
“As for now, the position that we have adopted is the one that the party holds and the one that the party will pursue. And whatever means we have to communicate that and to show our commitment, we will use them,” Friday told CMC.
- Countries: St_Vincent_Grenadines