LESS THAN TWO years after St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) obtained its independence from Great Britain, the Labour Party Government, led by the Prime Minister Milton Cato, established diplomatic relations with Taiwan in August 1981. The wisdom and correctness of that choice have redounded to the manifold benefits to our two countries for the past 40 years.
We have built a strong and enduring relationship not out of necessity, expediency or geographic proximity, but out of our deep conviction and abiding faith in the values and virtues of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights which bind us together. Through all the vagaries and vicissitudes of time we have never equivocated in our commitment of mutual support for the further development of our two countries. We have ignored the overtures and blandishments of Mainland China and kept a steady course. We have never waffled, wobbled, or wavered in our support for Taiwan in any international or other multilateral forum.
No other single country has contributed more to the development of every sector of our economy as has Taiwan. We are extremely grateful to the government and people of Taiwan for their generous support at all times.
We also express our gratitude for the service of all the diplomats from Taiwan who have served and are now serving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Thanks also to Miss Peggy Car who selflessly has served the interest of St. Vincent and Vincentians living and/ or studying in Taiwan.
It has been a great honour and privilege to serve my country as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, longer than any other Minister of Foreign Affairs in the region and to be instrumental in seeing the establishment of an Embassy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Taiwan headed by Andrea Bowman.
We move forward in strength, unity, love and commitment to each other.
Long live the partnership between St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Taiwan.
Sir Louis H. Straker Former Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs