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Taiwanese ambassador to St. Lucia Tom Chou served both nations well

Dear Editor:

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.

May 14, 2012    watson@
As a St Lucian I am fully supportive of that statement. While I am not a supporter of the last government, I am thankful for what Ambassador Tom Chou did for the country.

By the way, the country is not as anti Taiwan as the present government would like the world to believe. Have a look at the results of the elections and the answers are all there for everyone to see.
May 15, 2012    hmaitre@
There is no question of the scope and value of the contribution of the Taiwanese Government to St Lucia through its ambassador Mr. Tom Chou. No one can question the Taiwanese government depth of commitment.
What we question though, is Mr. Chou's personnel involvement in local politics. His activities and actions contravened every known protocol that guided ambassadorial behavior. Mr. Chou's intervention in local politics is tantamount to a charge of attempting to decide the outcome of local politics in the interest of a specific political party.
That is what angered the incumbent party then, not Taiwanese government's contribution to our islands development. So DENYS I KNOW YOU ARE AWARE OF THAT. So are you merely singing for a mess of porridge, still trying to benefit from the Taiwanese LARGESSE?
May 15, 2012    asabraham@
As a St. Lucian living in the United States, I fully support the statement of Ambassador Chou accomplishment. He has done a lot for the country. It is the prerogative of the current government to seek change. I wish Mr. Chou the very best.
Thank you Sir,

ASA
May 19, 2012    chuckjd@
No one has not supported his good works, not even the present government. What we are missing there is the fact that Mr. Springer with all his acclaimed knowledge in foreign relations and governance, hypocritically runs away from the fact that as an ambassador Mr. Tom Chou crossed his boundaries where the affairs of local politics and governance is concerned.
May 29, 2012    frankgirard@
watson@ wrote:
As a St Lucian I am fully supportive of that statement. While I am not a supporter of the last government, I am thankful for what Ambassador Tom Chou did for the country.

By the way, the country is not as anti Taiwan as the present government would like the world to believe. Have a look at the results of the elections and the answers are all there for everyone to see.
I am a regular newspaper columnist in Saint Lucia and have followed the work of resident Taiwanese Ambassador to St. Lucia, Tom Chou, ever since he began his ambassadorial tenure in July 2007.

There, I am pleased to share my views on the outgoing Taiwanese Ambassador in the following article submitted to VOICE newspaper - the national newspaper of St. Lucia since 1885. My article follows :

OUTGOING RESIDENT TAIWANESE AMBASSADOR, TOM CHOU, MAY EASILY BE RECKONED SAINT LUCIA’S “GOOD SAMARITAN”
By: Frank Girard
His Excellency, Resident Taiwanese Ambassador, Tom Chou, by all accounts can be reckoned Saint Lucia’s “Good Samaritan” in recent years. This outgoing Taiwanese diplomat was more than gracious and generous to the Government and people of Saint Lucia, ever since he landed on Fair Helen in July 2007 to provide ambassadorial representation to the Republic of China on Taiwan.
Of course, he had his fair share of challenges and incisive political criticisms from the then SLP Opposition resulting from his apparent pro-activity to offer meaningful assistance to Saint Lucia - a Small Island Developing State (SIDS)! During Tom Chou’s ambassadorial tenure, Saint Lucia readily received his approval for numerous projects funded by the Taiwanese Government; namely, Agriculture, Education, E-government, Grass Roots, Health, Disaster Relief and Sports. Frankly, Tom Chou became prominent and conspicuous due to the multiplicity of projects funded during is ambassadorial tenure.
In the Agriculture sector, Taiwan’s aid to Saint Lucia between July 2007 – 2012includes the introduction of the Orchid Industry; creating linkages between Tourism and Agriculture; Tissue Culture Laboratory at Union Agricultural Station; the new Meat Processing Facility (MPF) at Vieux Fort; Agro-processing Plants at Fond Assau and Anse Ger; Aqua Culture – fingerlings, shrimp and crayfish in ponds; and E-commerce for the agriculture sector. In Education the achievements are equally significant by ensuring the competitiveness of the Saint Lucian sovereign nation in projects such as In Time; provision of numerous Taiwanese Scholarships, IETV; Highways and Byways; and Computer Education for secondary schools island-wide. In E-government, the Taiwanese provided useful and meaningful assistance to Saint Lucia in the area of Computer management system for crime reports; Driver’s License, Birth Certificate Reform; Agricultural monitor system; and vehicle registration. In Grass Roots projects, the Taiwanese funded foot paths, drainage systems; Community centers, Bridges, bus Shelters and Sports Fields. In the Health Sector, Taiwanese assistance went to the surgical building of St. Jude Hospital; and long and short-term Taiwanese medical volunteers to Saint Lucia.
Under Disaster Relief, the Taiwanese offered a post Hurricane Tomas agricultural initiative and a donation to the Victoria Hospital.
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