China donates military equipment to Suriname (CANA)

China has donated military equipment including vehicles to Suriname even as opposition legislators called on the administration in Paramaribo to consider establishing diplomatic relations with China’s breakaway province, Taiwan.

China’s ambassador to Suriname, Su Ge, said the US$600,000 donation was not intended to provide support for its “One China” policy which Suriname has already said it supports, but was more in line with improving bilateral relations between the two countries.

But the gift came on the heels of the return home of an unofficial delegation to Taiwan that has angered both the political directorate in China and the CARICOM member itself.

The gift including military vehicles, as well as electronics and medical supplies and equipment were handed over to Defence Minister Ivan Fernald and witnessed by army Commander Colonel Ernst Mercuur.

Fernald said that the government of President Ronald Veneetian would continue to support Beijing.

But opposition legislator Theo Vishnudatt, who was a member of the delegation to Taipei, said that the government should review its foreign policy as it relates to China-Taiwan relations.

Vishnudatt said that since Taiwan has submitted an application to the United Nations for membership, the “One China” policy should no longer be an issue and that the government here should be seeking the interest of the country first and foremost.

During the visit to Taiwan, the delegation was given a letter containing Taiwan’s official aid offer to deliver to Suriname’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lygia Kraag-Keteldijk.

But Vice-President Ram Sardjoe said the government would not recognise the letter as an official document since it was presented to a delegation that was not on an official visit to Taiwan and was not representing the government.

Last October, the government rejected a similar offer by Taiwan.

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