In 'milestone' move, Taiwan opens trade office in Guyana

WION Web Team
Taiwan Published: Feb 04, 2021, 03:00 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

President Tsai Ing-wen has stridently opposed China's aggressive moves ever since she came to power in 2016. 

Taiwan on Thursday opened its trade office in Guyana in a move which is likely to anger China.

Taiwan's foreign ministry said it had signed an agreement with Guyana to open the office which had begun operations on January 15.

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"This milestone will benefit both partners and advance security, democratic values and prosperity in the region," Julie Chung, acting assistant secretary of the State Department's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said.

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The US embassy in Guyana backed the move, saying in a statement that "closer ties with Taiwan will advance cooperation and development in Guyana on the basis of shared democratic values, transparency, and mutual respect."

China does not consider Taiwan as an independent country and has vowed to annex it even as the US has backed Taiwan with military hardware in recent years. Taiwan is officially recognised by only 15 countries.

President Tsai Ing-wen has stridently opposed China's aggressive moves ever since she came to power in 2016.  Last year, Taiwan had opened an office in Somaliland which attracted China ire. 

Guyana is yet to open a reciprocal office in Taiwan even as the foreign ministry said it will enjoy similar conditions and privileges if it does. Guyana has close ties with China as foreign minister Hugh Todd said: "Guyana is not recognising Taiwan as an independent state. Guyana is not establishing diplomatic relations with Taipei."

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said it hoped Guyana would not engage in official ties with Taiwan, adding, the country should "earnestly take steps to correct their mistake".

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