Concern Taiwan’s ally Saint Vincent could be next poached by China

‘Keeping an eye on’ Saint Vincent election: Taiwan’s Foreign Minister

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Legislators discuss the possibility of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines switching diplomatic allegiance from Taiwan to China

On Friday (Oct. 18), Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Hsu Yu-jen (許毓仁) expressed concern over whether Saint Vincent and the Grenadines would be the next country to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan, following in the footsteps of the Solomon Islands and Kiribati in September.

During questioning at the Legislative Yuan, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that the situation would be closely monitored. The questioning came as part of the Legislative Yuan's general inquiry into governance policy today, in which Hsu's concern cited international media reports about St Vincent's upcoming general election. The small Caribbean island nation's New Democratic Party (NDP) has reportedly announced that if elected to power in 2020, it would break diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of China.

Since there is only one seat's difference between the two Vincentian parties, such an occurrence is a real possibility. Taiwan currently has fifteen formal diplomatic allies remaining.

Wu stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has taken note of the situation and spoken with a number of Saint Vincent's government leaders as well as the opposition. He added that Taiwan has always strongly supported the country, and that its current Prime Minister, Ralph E. Gonsalves of the Unity Labour Party, maintains close ties to Taiwan. The Foreign Minister added that the MOFA would monitor the situation closely.

Hsu lambasted MOFA, saying that it must not allow any further diplomatic ties to be severed; otherwise Wu should step down and accept political responsibility.