Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas recently admitted that the government has had some contact with China as they are members of the Caribbean Development Bank, pointing out that there are Chinese (citizens) here in the country engaged in construction activities, and also who have invested in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We have no problem with that, and so we would continue as much as possible to continue for Chinese investment or Taiwanese investment to grow and develop in St. Kitts and Nevis. However in terms of our political relationship, we are satisfied with the relationships we have with Taiwan,” Douglas said.
He also added that he feels the Chinese government is not dissatisfied with St. Kits and Nevis’ relationship with Taiwan, because it is a long established one that shall continue.
The Prime Minister however stated that the federation is benefitting from the relationship with Taiwan but is open to having a close business relationship with China, as are several other countries in the Caribbean region. Douglas said he is satisfied with the mutual benefits these relations bring to his country.
When St. Kitts and Nevis became an independent state in 1983, under the leadership of then Prime Minister Dr. Kennedy Simmonds, the very first country that they turned to for the establishment of diplomatic ties was Taiwan.
Immediately Taiwan began pouring millions of dollars into the development of the newly established country, trying to quickly solidify its friendship with the Simmonds Administration and the people of the twin-island nation. And though there were initial grumblings from the political opposition, the Labour Party eventually changed its attitude to Taiwan when it managed to gain power in 1995, accepting the Asian giant as a true friend and continuing to build on the foundation already laid by the former PAM government.
Now almost 29 years after nationhood and diplomatic ties, Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. Denzil Douglas thought it necessary to send a signal to Taiwan, that under his leadership, he does not foresee the federation developing any direct political contact with mainland China.
His comments came in response to a caller on his ‘Ask the Prime Minister’ programme on Tuesday, (15th May, 2012).