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May 28, 2017

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

The St. Jude hospital in the south of the island was badly damaged by fire and is now being rebuilt and refurbished. The Taiwanese government has contributed US$$3.1 million to this project. When it is completed it will be a state-of-the-art facility.

St. Lucia now cultivates 40 varieties of orchids and hopes to export it the rest of the Caribbean soon. This is a joint project by both governments, through the ambassador.

There are also over 50 St. Lucians studying in Taiwan on scholarships from the government in Taipei. I am sure that by coming to Taiwan that they have a better grasp of the nation's culture and know that their qualification will be highly respected worldwide. They are also learning Mandarin, which has become important for doing business in Asia.

Taiwan, through the transfer of technology, has brought about a reliable and efficient national ID card and drivers license processing facility, centralized police data information, roads, communication, provided toys at Christmas for the St. Lucians, volunteer doctors and, among other things, nurses at St. Jude from Changhua Christian Hospital every three to four months. These are all projects resulting from the efforts of Ambassador Chou.

There is much more that I can write about in respect to what has been done during the tenure of the Ambassador Chou, which has benefited all St. Lucians greatly. These are the things I had hoped your article would have been about.

If the government in St. Lucia is asking that Ambassador Chow be recalled, it is not sufficient to say that he has interfered in the politics of St. Lucia, without saying how he has done so.

If he must leave then so be it. The St. Lucia government has its own reason for demanding his recall. However, Ambassador Chou will leave with his head held high knowing that the majority of St. Lucians applaud his efforts in bringing about change in St. Lucia that has affected the lives of every resident. There will no doubt be a tinge of sadness both by him and my fellow St. Lucians when he leaves those shores. He has, without a doubt, been the most loved Ambassador and the hardest working Ambassador ever to be stationed on the island. He is definitely a man for all seasons. I can say on behalf of many St. Lucians that Taiwan should be proud of Ambassador Chou.

I humbly believe he is a great Ambassador who almost every child in Saint Lucia knows. I therefore thank him and the government of Taiwan for the help they have given St. Lucia over the years. I also hope that he rises to higher heights in his career. Let me further add that no one is perfect; we all make mistakes. However, we must look at the circumstances in which those mistakes were made. Tom also is not perfect but he is a great son of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

Denys Springer


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,

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 :

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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