In terms of SVG’s economic and financial development, establishing formal ties with Taiwan has been our greatest mistake. Taiwan’s exploitation of SVG’s Atlantic Ocean tuna fishing licence has held back SVG’s economic development. We should have used our Atlantic Ocean tuna fishing licence ourselves, and used that billion-dollar income to build a strong economy and create prosperity for all.
There has been no net benefit to having economic relationships with Taiwan. We should urgently cut ties with Taiwan and deport the Taiwanese Ambassador.
In September 2019, the Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan after a 36-year relationship and made ties with China. The Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, said the country needed to start ‘looking for ways to improve the country’s economic prospects’.
This statement shows that Taiwan had failed to help the Solomon Islands to become economically strong as well.
Four days after the Solomon Islands cut ties with Taiwan, Kiribati – which has a population of around 110,000 – cut ties with Taiwan. Kiribati’s President, Taneti Maamau, said the country ‘acted in its best national interest’ when it severed ties with Taiwan and re-established diplomatic relations with China.
According to the Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, we have to get rid of Taiwan if we are going to have any chance of reviving our economy.
Taiwan has been in SVG for almost 40 years. If Taiwan was a true friend of the people of SVG, it would have helped our country to be economically strong and stable. There has been more than enough time for that to have been done over Taiwan’s time in SVG.
Taiwan should have helped build a world-class education system in SVG from preschool to our own university. The fact that we do not have even one university in SVG shows that Taiwan does not care about providing all our children with the means to get a university degree, and have an increased opportunity to seek a lifetime of prosperity. We should have had our own SVG Science and Technology University in SVG by now.
Taiwan should have created a billion-dollar tuna fishing and canning industry in SVG in order to create thousands of jobs and mass employment in SVG. Taiwan should have built a School of Navigation in SVG to train our young people in the skills needed to captain, and run our own fleet of SVG tuna fishing vessels for deep sea fishing of tuna throughout the Atlantic Ocean. This would have created billions of dollars of revenue for the SVG economy.
The fact that these things do not exist in SVG shows that Taiwan does not want our people or economy to succeed. Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, says that the Taiwan Ambassador should pack his bags and go home.
Warrant Officer Ivan Bertie O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA spent three years at Brookes University, Oxford, England, reading for his BSc (Hons) degree in Accounting and Finance and Economics and has the necessary financial expertise to competently manage a team to create the sustainable economic development needed, to lift our country from the edge of economic disaster into economic prosperity.
For the sake of SVG’s economic and financial development, we must urgently cut ties with Taiwan. It would be a big mistake not to.
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this column are not necessarily those of this Publication.