February 7th, 2018
On behalf of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris expresses heartfelt condolences and support for the Republic of China (Taiwan) and its people in the wake of a powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck the country late Tuesday centred 14 miles northeast of the coastal city of Hualien.
“Please accept our deepest and sincerest sympathy. We pray for the bereaved families and loved ones of the persons who were killed in the earthquake, and our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who are missing and believed to be trapped as we pray for their safe rescue,” Prime Minister Harris said today, adding that he joins President Tsai Ing-wen in acknowledging and thanking all of the first responders for their tireless efforts in searching for survivors.
At least six people were killed in the earthquake and more than 200 injured, with dozens of people missing and feared trapped under the rubble of buildings.
The Honourable Prime Minister also said, “I extend profound gratitude to His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to St. Kitts and Nevis, who has informed me that all of the 60 Kittitian and Nevisian students currently studying in Taiwan, including the 10 who are based in Hualien, are safe and well.”
Prime Minister Harris noted that, “This incredibly good news is based on information that Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Foreign Minister His Excellency Dr. David Lee, who visited St. Kitts and Nevis a few days ago, has gathered from the schools. Her Excellency Jasmine Huggins, our Ambassador to the Republic of China (Taiwan), has also contacted each and every one of these students to check on their safety.”
The Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis further noted, “My Government and I take this opportunity to record our immense appreciation to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its substantial support to our Nationals who have been afforded scholarships to study a wide range of specialties in Taiwan such as architecture, biomedical engineering, international business and trade, journalism and mass communication, management science and finance, Mandarin Chinese, medicine, nursing and health science, police administration, travel and tourism management, and tropical agriculture. The list is as long and impressive as our close and mutually beneficial friendship, which began in 1981 with an agricultural cooperation agreement and deepened in 1983 when diplomatic ties were formalized.”
Prime Minister Harris also conveyed the concern of his Government and people that the Republic of China (Taiwan) has been hit by a series of strong foreshocks and aftershocks, which are unprecedented in the Asian region in terms of intensity and number.
“President Tsai Ing-wen, her government and people have our full assurance that we stand by them and will support them in any way we can,” Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said.