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Taiwan strengthens ties with Guatemala after Honduras breakup

GUATEMALA CITY: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen completed a three-day visit to Guatemala on Sunday (April 2), where she offered to cooperate more with the government of Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, a Taiwan’s few allies in the world.

Tsai’s visit, which will take her to Belize on Sunday afternoon, comes a week after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing.

China and Taiwan have been jostling for influence in Latin America since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, with Beijing considering Taiwan as part of Chinese territory, a position that Taipei has taken. vehemently denied. China refuses to allow other countries to maintain diplomatic relations with both countries at the same time.

During his visit to Guatemala, Tsai signed a US$4 million deal to modernize rural areas and promised to promote and strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

“From now on, Taiwan and Guatemala will continue to show solidarity with each other, strengthen cooperation in all areas possible based on firm goals, solidarity and mutual benefit,” Tsai said. during a tour of a hospital built with Taiwan’s help.

Before traveling to Guatemala – one of 13 countries with which Taiwan has diplomatic relations – Tsai made a controversial stop in New York, angering China, which has repeatedly warned US officials not to Meet Mrs. Thai.

China’s influence in Latin America has grown in recent years, with Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama and Costa Rica abandoning Taipei in favor of Beijing.

The President of Guatemala thanked Ms. Tsai for her visit to the Central American country.

“The visit with which we cemented this friendship will stay in our hearts,” said Giammattei.

Former Guatemalan Foreign Minister Edgar Gutierrez told Reuters on Sunday that Guatemala’s stance on maintaining ties with Taiwan was a way to please the United States at a time when relations with Washington are strained.

The Guatemalan government is trying to rebuild bridges with some US institutions by “providing Guatemala as a migrant deposit, moving their embassy to Jerusalem, assisting Ukraine… more than 100 drug traffickers by 2022 and remains an ally of Taiwan,” Gutierrez said.

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