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Switch for Grenada's benefit
Damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in Grenada
Grenada needs urgent aid post Hurricane Ivan
Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell has said that resuming diplomatic relations with China is for his country's long term benefit.

Mr Mitchell confirmed on Friday that his country had indeed severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

"This is about Grenada it’s not about me. It's about the future of this country and I think that's what it's all about," he said. "When the entire relationship and what is in store for Grenada comes out, then I think we all will be very happy, even those who criticised.

"Since China is going to be a major factor in what takes place in the global environment, it's going to be really foolhardy for any country to be out of that loop and I will not be one that will keep Grenada in a situation where it will be marginalised in the not too distant future," he said.

The Grenadian leader said that after the destruction caused by Hurricane Ivan in September, some "bold initiatives" were required in order to get much-needed urgent aid for Grenada and he said that Taiwan was not willing to provide assistance in critical areas of the economy.

Bold decision

Mr Mitchell also refuted claims that Grenada demanded millions of dollars in aid from the Taiwanese and called those accusations a "blatant lie".

The Chinese are expected to assist Grenada with providing low cost housing and rebuilding the hospital which was badly damaged during Hurricane Ivan.

Grenada embarked on the dissolution of diplomatic relations with Taiwan in November when Mr Mitchell paid a visit to Beijing and at the time, he was widely criticised in Grenada for the seemingly secretive manner in which the process was conducted.

Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit praised Grenada's decision, and said it was up to governments to do "what was in the best interests of its people at any time".

Dominica made the switch from Taiwan to China in April which left Taipei fuming that it could not match the Chinese offer of US$112 million in aid.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, Belize and Haiti are now the only Caricom nations with ties to Taiwan.

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