CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC – The main opposition United Workers Party (UWP) says it is disappointed that Taiwan’s Foreign Minister David Y. L. Lin was never allowed to meet with Opposition Leader Stevenson King during his two-day visit to St. Lucia last week.
The UWP said that Lin, who is on a visit to several Caribbean countries, did not pay the customary “courtesy call” or met "officially" with the Leader of the Opposition, during his recent visit, even though he paid courtesy calls on Governor General, Dame Pearlette Louisy, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Alva Baptiste as in keeping with traditional protocol.
“However, it is our understanding that the Honourable David Lin also met with the President of the Senate, Claudius Francis and the House Speaker, Peter Foster Q.C. but not Hon. Stephenson King,” the UWP said, adding that had been present at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Anthony for the visiting Asian government minister.
“Therefore, in Mr. King’s official capacity, as the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition, he was never allowed the opportunity of a courtesy call by the Taiwanese Foreign Minister,” the UWP said.
The UWP statement quoted as saying he is unaware of any incident or position taken by him that would have resulted in his name being taken off the government’s protocol list.
“In fact Mr. King has not displayed any actions or expressed any sentiments similar to that of his predecessor, Dr. Kenny Anthony, who refused to meet with any Taiwanese Foreign officials during his tenure as Leader of the Opposition between 2006 and 2011,” the statement said, quoting King that he harbours no “ill feelings” towards the government not the Republic of China (Taiwan) over the issue.
But the UWP said that it remains puzzled over the matter and calls on the relevant authorities to explain “this diplomatic blunder”.
The UWP government had re-established diplomatic relations with Taiwan following its victory in the general elections seven years ago, severing ties with China that had been established by the then the Kenny Anthony administration.
The new government has however maintained its links with Taiwan after winning the 2011 general election.