KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 13, IWN – The strained relations between Taiwan and China before 2008 was among the stars that were aligned to make the Argyle international airport, which is under construction, more likely.
But Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday that with the rapprochement between the two Chinese nations, it is unlikely that St. Vincent and the Grenadines can again negotiate a $30 million grant from Taiwan.
“When we had the original agreement for $30 million from Taiwan, that is in a particular period when there was a tension between Taiwan and mainland China,” Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday.
China says Taiwan is a renegade province to be brought under the government in Beijing by force, if necessary.
For years, each capital accused the other of engaging in dollar diplomacy.
But their relationship has significantly improved since President Ma Ying-jeou was elected in Taiwan in 2008.
“Anyone believes that St. Vincent and the Grenadines today will get $30 million from Taiwan?” Gonsalves told lawmakers.
“If you believe that, you believe that pigs going to fly. Because you can’t play one off against the other. We have never done that. We have never done that. And we have never put up a sign in the shop window saying ‘for sale’. That’s not our style. Others may do that. That’s not our style. We have always acted in principled manner. But, I am just saying the geopolitics, the alignment,” Gonsalves said.
Among the other stars that were aligned was former president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez who died of cancer last week, former president of Cuba, Fidel Castro, and former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning.
“And Comrade was here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said of himself.
The EC$652 million airport is scheduled to be completed this year and to become operational in 2014.