A United Workers Pary (UWP) government will maintain diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China as the idea of reverting to Taiwan is not being considered at this time, according to the party’s leader, Lennox Linton.
At the same time Linton said there will be a paradigm shift in the UWP’s foreign policy which will focus on transparency.
“The concerns that we had about some of those diplomatic engagements are that they are not based on the national interest,” he told a press conference on Tuesday. “They come out of certain personal arrangement the people have formed and they are used for the benefit of the personal arrangements.”
Dominica maintained a 21-year relationship with Taiwan until March 23, 2004 when prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, severed ties and established relations with China.
Since then China has embarked on a number of projects in Dominica including the E.O Leblanc Highway, the Windsor Park Sports Stadium, the new Dominica State College, the State House, among others.
When asked whether a UWP government would revert to Taiwan, Linton stated the idea is not under consideration at this time.
“At the moment that is not under consideration … right now I am saying to you, there is no consideration of that,” he stated.
According to Linton, the situation that exists between China and Taiwan some 10 years ago is not the same today and there is no need to reconsider the island’s foreign policy on that particular matter.
“The dollar diplomacy that took place back maybe ten years ago no longer exist,” he noted. “There is no pressing need for the reconsideration of the foreign policy of Dominica in so far as it concerns relationship with mainland China. When we take the government we will have a diplomatic relationship with China.”
He however pointed out the success and longevity of a diplomatic relations will depend on mutual interest. “How well it is serving us, how well it is serving China,” Linton pointed out. “So couple years down the road China may decide ‘we don’t want to have diplomatic relationship with you for this or that reason..”
The UWP leader also expressed concerns that there is no resident Dominican ambassador in Beijing. “Ask Mr. Skerrit, of all the importance of China to Dominica, why is it we do not have an ambassador in Beijing?” he asked.
He noted that there was an ambassador in the Chinese capital “in controversial circumstances four years ago.” “Is that gentleman still operating? Is he still controlling the diplomatic affairs of Dominica in Beijing undercover? What is going on? We don’t know,” he said.
Linton pointed out that it is for reasons like this, the UWP’s foreign policy will focus on transparency.