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Friday, May 11, 2012

Taiwan assigns new ambassador to St. Lucia . . .

(By Nancy Liu)

Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman James Chang confirmed Friday that he had been appointed Taiwan's new ambassador to St. Lucia, following a series of reports that the Caribbean country had requested Ambassador Tom Chou be replaced.

Asked when he was scheduled to assume the post, Chang told CNA that he needed "to discuss with Ambassador Chou about the handover process."

The reshuffle was a "routine rotation," he said, making no comment on the speculated reason for the change.

On April 22, the English-language China Post reported that St. Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Anthony had urged Taiwan to replace Chou.

"I have asked for the recall of Ambassador Tom Chou. His behavior in St. Lucia over the last couple of years has been unacceptable to the government of St. Lucia," Anthony said, according to the report.

"As far as we are concerned, his presence in St. Lucia is not in the best interest of Taiwan and the government and people of St. Lucia at this time," he was quoted as saying.

Anthony, who was elected prime minister in November 2011, has accused Chou of influencing St. Lucia's election by supporting the then-ruling United Workers Party. He also pledged to review diplomatic relations with Taiwan after taking power.

Meanwhile, Lily Hsu, director-general of the ministry's Department of International Organizations, has been assigned to head the Taipei Representative Office in Denmark.

Lin Jinn-jong, director-general of the Department of West AsianAffairs, is to become the head of the Taipei Economic andCultural Representative Office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Christine Hsueh, currently stationed at Taiwan's representative office in the United States, will supervise the Taipei Economic andCultural Office in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, the ministry confirmed.

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