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September 21, 2017

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Ally leader's unification remark draws ire

The China Post--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday pledged to look into a recent remark made by a leader of Taiwan's diplomatic ally St. Lucia on the issue of cross-strait unification.

According to Hsiao Bi-khim of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony recently said during the 67th session of the U.N. General Assembly last month that his government is "well aware of the determination of the Chinese people to unify their country."

St. Lucia welcomes the increasing dialogue and cooperation between China and Taiwan and looks forward to the continued evolution of the ongoing peaceful rapprochement among the Chinese people "as they search to unify their civilization," the Caribbean leader said during his U.N. address.

Speaking at the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday, Hsiao said Anthony's statement shows that the diplomatic ally believes the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are moving toward unification.

"This is a serious misunderstanding and misinterpretation that runs against the mainstream opinion of the Taiwanese people," the DPP lawmaker said.

Hsiao pointed out James Chang, Taiwan's ambassador to St. Lucia, for allegedly spreading the wrong message of cross-strait unification in the Caribbean nation, giving Anthony the wrong idea about cross-strait ties.

She called on the MOFA to look into the matter which could have misled the international community into a false understanding of Taiwan-China relations.

In response, Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih, who fielded questions during the legislative session, said she believes the point of Anthony's U.N. remark was to acknowledge Taiwan's efforts to improve ties with China.

Shih also rebutted Hsiao's accusation that Taiwan's embassy in St. Lucia has provided information regarding Taiwan-China unification to the ally. But she vowed that her ministry will look deeply into the matter.

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