Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves arrived in Taiwan on Aug. 7 and was given a hearty welcome by President Tsai Ing-wen.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is welcomed to Taiwan with a military salute. President Tsai Ing-wen is there to greet him in person, wearing a mask with the ROC and Vincentian flags. Tsai expressed her deepest gratitude to Gonsalves for not canceling his trip as cross-Strait tensions are on the rise.
Tsai Ing-wen, ROC President: “Prime Minister Gonsalves stated a few days ago that China's military exercises would not stop him from visiting his friends. We were extremely moved by this.”
This is Gonsalves' 12th trip to Taiwan and 11th as prime minister. He said Taiwan and St. Vincent and the Grenadines are both island nations that value democracy and human rights, and neither likes when big and powerful countries threaten smaller countries. He also said all international conflicts should be resolved peacefully.
Ralph Gonsalves, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister: “We do not like it and we do not support it when any powerful neighbor seeks to intimidate us or bully us. Wherever there are differences we must settle them peacefully in a civilized manner.”
During a meeting between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and New Zealand's defense minister on the 8th, both reaffirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Wendy Sherman, US Deputy Secretary of State: “So those of us in Washington DC have to remember how vast our country is -- how connected we are to both the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. So, those ties are critical to us.”
The U.S. sent Sherman on a tour of Pacific island nations after PRC Foreign Minister Wang Yi embarked on such a tour in May, to strengthen U.S. influence in the region.