Taiwanese ambassador to St. Lucia Tom Chou served both nations well
By Denys Springer
May 14, 2012, 12:10 am TWN
I am a St. Lucian and until December 2011 the Director of the Government Information Service in St. Lucia. I am also a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations, National Chengchi University. I write in response to an article in your Thursday April 26, 2012 edition, headlined "MOFA refuses to comment on St. Lucia envoy."
The article said that my (the St. Lucian) government is not satisfied with the annual fund promised by Taiwan. To my knowledge, no discussions had taken place on this issue since the government of St Lucia has established a to committee to examine the St. Lucia-Taiwan ties to determine whether to a maintain the status quo. I would to think that my prime minister was misquoted. If not, I apologize.
Further, I would have thought that when it was alleged that Ambassador Tom Chou has "interfered in St. Lucia's election by supporting the previous ruling United Workers Party (UWP)" that the article would have detailed the nature of this alleged interference.
Polls in the country show that many St. Lucian's are satisfied with what the Taiwanese government, through Ambassador Chou, has done for the country. During the ambassador's tenure, many community projects were undertaken such as footpaths, drainage, and retainer walls that have benefited and enriched the lives of the people in many communities.
After the Hurricane Tomas of October 2010, the Taiwanese government was the first to give aid to our devastated island. Our students have also benefited immensely from the "In time project" and the computer labs that have been donated to schools.
Today, St. Lucia has a National Tennis Centre, which will help to encourage many youngsters to take up the sport because it was not within their reach in the past, due to the high cost. It is an international tennis center and more courts are due to be built. This is a joint project by both governments.
The Taiwanese government, through Ambassador Chou, has helped to refurbish the track at the George Odlum Stadium, built by the government of mainland of China during the previous tenure of the present government. However, the track was below standard and international meets could not be held there. Now St. Lucia has a track that meets international standards.
A meat-processing factory is being built, which is very important for the safe and healthy slaughtering and packaging of meat. It will be the first of its kind on the island. Once again, St. Lucia must thank Chou and Taiwanese government.
An aqua center has been built, providing farmers with the skills to develop their own ponds to breed fresh water prawns and tilapia. This will help tremendously in supplying hotels and reducing importation. It will also helps in agricultural diversification.
Farmers are also being provided with disease free fruit crop seedlings, such as watermelon, pineapple, and guava because a lab has been built to produce these seedlings.