The president-elect of Paraguay began a visit to Taiwan with the aim of strengthening ties

Santiago Peña with Taiwanese Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu (Twitter @SantiPenap)

The elected president of Paraguay, santiago penalanded in Taipei on Tuesday for a visit aimed at strengthening relations between taiwan and one of his few remaining diplomatic allies.

Griefwho will take office next month, was received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaushieh Joseph Wu.

“We came to China-Taiwan to develop a intense commercial and cultural exchange agenda, in addition to reinforcing our historical ties of friendship and cooperation. I appreciate Jaushieh Joseph WuMinister of Foreign Affairs for the reception,” Peña wrote on Twitter.

During his visit, the president-elect will meet with the main political leaders of the island, including the president Tsai Ing-wen and the vice president william laiwho is also the candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party in the January presidential election.

The president of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/file)
The President of Taiwan Tsai Ing-wen (REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/file) (CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/)

Grief promised during his campaign maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Paraguay is one of the 13 countries that recognize Taiwan as a country and they do not maintain diplomatic relations with China.

Beijing, which considers self-ruled Taiwan a breakaway province, prohibits its diplomatic partners from maintaining formal ties with Taipei.

Taiwan’s other diplomatic allies are usually smallest countries in Central Americahe Caribbean and the South PacificWith swatiniin southern Africa, and Vatican City.

China has intensified its campaign to win over Taiwan’s diplomatic allies since pro-independence Tsai took office in 2016, in part by offering infrastructure investments to developing countries. She recently managed to convince Honduraswhich severed ties with Taipei and opened an embassy in Beijing.

I want to spend the next five years getting closer.”Peña said after arriving at the Taipei airport. “We are close, but I think that right now we need to be closerwe need to be together”.

Pena travels with members of his incoming government, including future foreign and finance ministers. Members of his team previously told the Paraguayan media that he intends to expand trade and investment between Paraguay and Taiwan.

Peña will participate in the celebrations of the 66th anniversary of Taiwan-Paraguay ties on Wednesday.

(With information from AP)

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