Taiwanese Ambassador pays courtesy call on Former Prime Minister Simmonds

By MyVue News.com Staff reporter

Basseterre, St. Kitts, Wednesday, 29th September, 2021, (MyVue News.com)-A wide range of issues of interest to the Governments and peoples of St. Kitts & Nevis and Taiwan, were discussed earlier this week when the Taiwanese resident ambassador paid a courtesy call on former Prime Minister, Dr. Sir Kennedy Simmonds and Lady Simmonds.

During the meeting, which was held at the private residence of the former prime minister, the ambassador expressed his commitment to strengthening the relationship between the two countries.

It was Simmonds and his administration who took the bold decision in 1980, to forge close ties with the government of Taiwan, just months after taking the reins of power in Basseterre.

That move by Simmonds was taken amid much opposition from the Government of the United Kingdom, who tried to discourage, in the strongest terms, Simmonds and his team from establishing economic ties, even before St. Kitts & Nevis became an independent state and while Britain was still responsible for international affairs for the two Caribbean islands.

It was therefore not surprising that when St. Kitts & Nevis became independent in 1983, the first country with whom Simmonds established formal diplomatic ties, was Taiwan. The Asian country has therefore been the oldest ally of St. Kitts & Nevis in the past 38 years of nationhood.

It has also been a relationship maintained by successive governments and one that has matured and strengthened in almost four decades of working together.

More importantly, Taiwan has managed to gain the respect and love of Kittitians and Nevisians, many of whom have benefited from academic scholarships.

Taiwan has also assisted with funding for the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium, community centers, agricultural projects and health initiatives, (including support to help fight against  COVID-19).

It was only this month that current St. Kitts & Nevis Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, called, again, on the United Nations to open the doors of membership to Taiwan, not only at the level of the General Assembly but also within various important international committees and bodies.

Simmonds, who completed his term in office in 1995, after 15 years at the helm, is now his country’s only living National Hero and is retired from politics.

Ambassador Michael Chau-Horng Lin was accompanied by Third Secretary Damien I-Ching Liu.

L-R: Lady Simmonds, Sir Kennedy Simmonds, Ambassador Michael Chau-Horng Lin

The ambassador thanked Sir Kennedy and Lady Simmonds for receiving them in their home and on behalf of his Government, thanked Sir Kennedy for establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan 38 years ago.

Lin also expressed his appreciation that the warm friendship between the two Governments and people has continued to this day.

The meeting, which was held on  Monday, 27th September, 2021, was described as cordial.

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