President Tsai presides over ocean park groundbreaking in St Kitts and Nevis

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Staff writer, with CNA, BASSETERRE

Photo: CNA -President Tsai Ing-wen, second left, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, left, Saint Kitts and Nevis Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Shawn Richards, right, and Prime Minister Timothy Harris pose for a photograph after signing a vocational education and training cooperation agreement during Tsai’s visit to the Caribbean nation yesterday.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) toured the island of Nevis on Sunday, the second day of her visit to Saint Kitts and Nevis, saying she was impressed by the scenic beaches.

Nevis’ reputation as a beautiful tourist destination is fully justified, said Tsai, the first sitting Republic of China (ROC) president to visit the island.

Accompanied by Saint Kitts and Nevis Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Brantley and Deputy Governor-General Hyleeta Liburd of the Nevis Island Administration, Tsai presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for an ocean park at Pinney’s Beach.

The sustainable and environmentally friendly project is being carried out with technical and financial assistance from Taiwan, Tsai said at the ceremony.

“Tourism development must not aim just at short-term profits, but should also guarantee sustainable development,” Tsai said.

She said that she had brought Taiwanese tourism and travel agents with her to learn about the business climate of Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is one of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies.

She hopes to see closer cooperation and increased tourism exchanges between the two countries, Tsai said.

Pinney’s Beach, in western Nevis 3km north of the capital, Charlestown, is a popular attraction among local and foreign visitors.

In 2014, Nevis administrative authorities proposed a development project for the beach, but were unable to carry it out due to a lack of financial and technical resources.

When Taiwan became aware of the issue, it offered to help with the design and construction of a coastal park and commissioned its International Cooperation and Development Fund to execute the project, which is scheduled to be completed in December 2021, members of Tsai’s entourage said.

Tsai flew to Saint Kitts and Nevis from Haiti on Saturday as part of her trip to four of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the Caribbean, including Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Saint Lucia.

In other news, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that Taiwanese performing arts troupe Formosa Circus Art (FOCA) is visiting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines this week to promote Taiwanese culture and improve ties.

FOCA is to perform in the capital, Kingstown, today, portraying nation’s ethnic diversity.

The performance would also showcase Taiwan’s performing arts, the ministry said in a statement, adding that FOCA would also take part in charity activities by meeting and interacting with disadvantaged children.

FOCA founding director Lin Chih-wei (林智偉) said his troupe plans to put on a performance titled The Heart of Asia (亞洲之心), which has four main parts reflecting the diversity of Taiwanese culture and the harmony that is shared by the nation’s people.

FOCA would then travel to Chile to perform in the capital, Santiago, on Sunday and Monday, the ministry said.

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