Taiwan condemns China after Guyana’s move to give up trade office

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Taiwan accused Beijing on Friday of pressuring Guyana to renounce its signed deal with Taipei to open a trade office, saying this speaks to the “evil nature” of the Chinese government.

• Read also: Taiwan opens sales office in Guyana

Less than 24 hours after the Taiwanese authorities announced the opening of this office, Guyana’s foreign minister said he had abandoned the project, saying his country remains committed to its diplomatic relations with China.

“We wish to express our deepest dissatisfaction and condemn the fact that the Chinese government has once again intimidated and suppressed Taiwan on the international stage,” the Taiwanese foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The Chinese government says one thing but does another, which only underscores its evil nature and further alienates the two camps.”

On Thursday, the Taipei authorities announced that they had signed an agreement with Guyana in January to open a trade office which had started operating. This event was immediately hailed by the United States.

This agreement did not imply a change in diplomatic alliance for Guyana, which continues to recognize only the People’s Republic of China.

Only 15 countries still officially recognize Taiwan, which is, on the other hand, considered by Beijing as a Chinese province, called upon to enter the fold of the People’s Republic of China, if necessary by force.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, who, unlike the previous government, refuses to recognize that the island and mainland China are part of “one China”, Beijing has applied itself to keeping the authorities Taiwanese away from international organizations.

But as of Thursday, Guyana had issued a statement in which it “specified to continue to adhere to the policy of one China and that its diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China remained unchanged”.

Taiwan Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang called Guyana’s move “one-sided”.

For his part, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry had warned Thursday against any attempt by Taipei “to obtain foreign support and to engage in separatist activities is doomed to failure.”

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