Saint Vincent and the Grenadines's (SVG) relations with Taiwan are "unbreakable" and will not be intimidated by "any powers," the Caribbean islands' prime minister said on Sunday following China's military drills surrounding Taiwan.
SVG Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and his delegation arrived in Taiwan for a six-day visit on Aug. 7, marking his 11th visit to the island as prime minister.
"Prime Minister Gonsalves has expressed in recent days that the Chinese military drills would not prevent him from visiting friends in Taiwan. This statement left us deeply moved," Tsai said.
“We are island nations," he said. "We share common values of the protection and promotion of democracy and human rights."
Gonsalves expressed “strong support” for Taiwan, saying that his country “will never allow any external activity” to impede their bilateral relations.
"As in our hemisphere, the Western hemisphere, we do not like it and we do not support it when any powerful neighbor seeks to intimidate or bully us," he said. "Wherever there are differences, we must settle them peacefully in a civilized manner."
China Announces Fresh Military DrillsThe Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims that Taiwan is a breakaway province that must be united with the mainland, by force if necessary. Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 and has never been under CCP control.
China's Eastern Theater Command said it would conduct joint drills focusing on anti-submarine and sea assault operations, confirming the fears of some security analysts and diplomats that Beijing would continue to maintain pressure on Taiwan's defenses.
Taiwan's foreign ministry condemned the move and demanded that Beijing stop its military actions and "pull back from the edge."
"In the face of military intimidation created by China, Taiwan will not be afraid nor back down, and will more firmly defend its sovereignty, national security, and free and democratic way of life," the ministry said.The duration and precise location of the latest drills is not yet known, but Taiwan has already eased flight restrictions near the locations of the most recent Chinese military drills.