Taiwan’s president visits Guatemala

Guatemala City, Mar 31 (EFE).- Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen arrived here Friday on a three-day official visit that is expected to see the signing of several accords aimed at enhancing cooperation with Guatemala, one of the handful of countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taipei.

Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro went to the airport to greet Tsai, who was received with military honors.

She was set to meet with President Alejandro Giammattei at the National Palace of Culture.

Tsai is scheduled to travel Saturday to the northern part of the Central American nation for a visit to the Mayan archaeological site of Tikal.

On Sunday, she will make a stop at the recently inaugurated National Hospital in Chimaltenango, which benefited from $22 million in funding from Taiwan, before departing for neighboring Belize.

After talks with Prime Minister John Briceno, Tsai plans to begin the return journey to Taipei via Los Angeles, where she is expected to meet with the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Republican Kevin McCarthy.

The Chinese government, which fumed last year when McCarthy’s Democratic predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, went to Taiwan, said earlier this week that Washington was “playing with fire” by allowing Tsai to include New York and Los Angeles on her itinerary.

Tsai’s visit to Guatemala comes days after Honduras severed diplomatic links with Taipei in favor of establishing ties with Beijing, which insists that Taiwan is a province of China.

With the Honduran decision, only 13 nations maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, while 182 countries recognize the People’s Republic of China.

Besides Guatemala and Belize, Taiwan has relations with Paraguay, Haiti, the Holy See, the African nation of Eswatini, and seven island states in the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Giammattei’s right-wing government has proclaimed Taiwan as “the only and true China.” EFE


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