The president of Taiwan will visit Guatemala and Belize with stops in the United States

Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan (Reuters) (CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS /)

The president of taiwanTsai Ing-wen, will embark on a trip next week to visit their Central American allies Guatemala and Belizesaid the government of this territory on Tuesday, days after Honduras opted to establish diplomatic relations with China.

The purpose of the trip is to “highlight the friendship with Guatemala and Belize, demonstrate the achievements of bilateral cooperation and the prospects for mutual benefit,” Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui said at a press conference.

Belize and Guatemala are two of the 14 countries that officially recognize Taiwan over Chinaand Tsai’s trip comes after Honduras said earlier this month that it would switch its recognition to Beijing’s.

China views Taiwan, self-governing and democratic, as part of its territory, which it will one day take back by force if necessary, and has increased military, political and economic pressure to enforce those claims. According to your “One China” principleno country can maintain official diplomatic relations with both China and Taiwan.

Tsai Ing-wen will leave Taiwan on March 29 to undertake a 10-day trip, with stops in New York and Los Angeleson the round trip to the Central American countries, according to the Ministry.

During her trip, the president Tsai will meet with his Guatemalan counterpart, Alejandro Giammattei, and with the Prime Minister of Belize, John Bricenoas reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

(via Reuters)

To the question of whether Tsai would meet with the speaker of the US House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthyIn Los Angeles, Vice Foreign Minister Alexander Yui limited himself to saying that his “transit itinerary is being properly arranged with the US side.”

McCarthy said earlier this month that he would see Tsai in his home state of California, and the US State Department downplayed the meeting amid protests from China.

On Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin reiterated his country’s opposition to Tsai meeting with US officials. “We strongly oppose any form of official exchange between the United States and Taiwan,” he declared at a press conference in Beijing. “China has made solemn representations to the US in this regard.”

Washington is one of Taiwan’s main world allies and its largest supplier of arms, despite the fact that in 1979 it changed its diplomatic recognition to that of Beijing. In August last year, a visit by McCarthy’s predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan drew condemnation from China, which held massive military drills around the island in response.

Tsai’s trip occurs at a critical time for Taiwanafter the president of HondurasXiomara Castro, said last week that her country would establish “official relations” with China.

Latin America has been a key diplomatic battleground for China and Taiwan since both countries separated in 1949 after a civil war.

The decision by Honduras, which would mean breaking long official ties with Taiwan, comes after negotiations with China over the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the country. It is the continuation of a recent trend in the regionin which Nicaragua, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica have changed their recognition diplomatic to Beijing in recent years.

Official visit from Germany

The German Minister of Education said this Tuesday that it was an honor for her to visit Taiwanhis “esteemed partner”, but that his trip was not related to his government’s strategy towards China, while Beijing claimed to have protested to Berlin for his “vile conduct” in going there.

The politically sensitive visit comes at a time when Berlin is reviewing its relations with Chinaso far narrow.

A visit to Taiwan in January by a delegation of senior lawmakers from the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), the smallest party in Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s tripartite coalition, sparked protests from Beijing.

Education Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger, also from the FDP, said at the signing of a technology cooperation agreement with Taiwan’s National Science and Technology Council Minister Wu Tsung-tsong that it was “extremely important for (her ) ministry and for (her) to promote cooperation with like-minded partners.”

Taiwanese Minister of the National Council for Science and Technology Tsung-Tsong Wu shakes hands with German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger in the lobby of the National Council for Science and Technology in Taipei (Reuters)
Taiwanese Minister of the National Council for Science and Technology Tsung-Tsong Wu shakes hands with German Minister for Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger in the lobby of the National Council for Science and Technology in Taipei (Reuters) ( I-HWA CHENG/)

“This agreement represents the improvement of cooperation on the basis of the democratic values ​​of transparency, openness, reciprocity and scientific freedom, to name just a few,” he said. “It is my great pleasure and honor to be the first female minister to head a specialized government department to visit Taiwan in 26 years,” she added. “Taiwan, with its excellent research institutions, is a highly valued partner.”

In BeijingChinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said they had filed a energetic protest to Germany for his “vile conduct”.

Germany must “immediately stop associating and interacting with Taiwan separatist pro-independence forcesimmediately stop sending the wrong signals to Taiwan’s separatist separatist forces, and immediately stop using the Taiwan issue to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Wang told a daily briefing.

Germany, like most countries, does not have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, although it maintains a de facto embassy in Taipei. Given the sensitivity of the trip, Stark-Watzinger is not scheduled to meet Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

The government of Olaf Scholz, contrary to the policy of the previous German chancellor, Angela Merkel, is developing a new strategy towards China to reduce the country’s dependence on the Asian economic superpower, until now a vital export market for products germans.

In response to a reporter’s question, Stark-Watzinger said: “The federal government’s strategy in China has not changed. To that extent, this visit today is not related to it.”

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