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Guatemala's president promises firm support for Taiwan

05/19/2024 12:52 PM
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Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo. File photo: Reuters
Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo. File photo: Reuters

Guatemala City, May 18 (CNA) Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo, who was sworn into office in January, has promised to firmly support the Republic of China (Taiwan) in his four-year term, Miguel Tsao (曹立傑), Taiwan's ambassador to the Central American country, said on Saturday (Guatemala time).

Although Arévalo will not attend the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on Monday (Taipei time), he made the promise to Taiwan recently, according to Tsao.

The Guatemalan president also expressed hopes Taiwan and Guatemala will continue cooperation and forge a strategic alliance because they can complement each other, given Taiwan's scientific and technological strength and Guatemala's rich resources, Tsao said.

Taiwan is the gateway to Asia, while Guatemala is the gateway to Central and Latin America, Tsao said. The two countries also share the common values of freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights, he added.

Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to Guatemala Miguel Tsao. CNA photo May 19, 2024
Republic of China (Taiwan) Ambassador to Guatemala Miguel Tsao. CNA photo May 19, 2024

Tsao made the remarks at a tea party held to celebrate the incoming inauguration of the 16th president and vice president of the ROC, which was attended by nearly 100 overseas Taiwanese, ROC embassy staff, and members of the Taiwanese technical mission in Guatemala.

At the event, in addition to thanking the overseas Taiwanese community in Guatemala for their long-term support of Taiwan, Tsao also introduced the experience and governance philosophy of Lai and Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).

Tsao said he met with eight Guatemalan ministerial-level officials recently, hoping to help Taiwan's voice be heard and spread its friendship to all walks of life in Guatemala.

In related news, Guatemala announced on May 12 it will send Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martínez as its special envoy to attend Monday's inauguration of Lai and Hsiao and reiterated its stable diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

It was followed by China's allegations regarding Taiwan's dollar diplomacy with the Central American nation.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson alleged on Friday that Taiwan had maintained political support from Guatemala by paying off its politicians.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Saturday rejected the allegations, calling it a ploy by China to use the occasion of the inauguration of Lai and Hsiao to try to disrupt Taiwan's foreign relations.

MOFA added that mutual visits by the two heads of state of Taiwan and Guatemala would be arranged at an appropriate time to further deepen bilateral relations.

(By Lee Teng-wen and Evelyn Kao)

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CNA photo May 19, 2024
CNA photo May 19, 2024
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