Taiwan setting up a diplomatic office in Guyana is a 'mistake': China

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Feb 04, 2021, 05:18 PM(IST)

A file photo of Taiwanese military personnel honouring Taiwanese flag Photograph:( Reuters )

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The announcement drew praise from the United States which has worried about deepening Chinese influence in Latin America.

The Chinese government has said that Taiwan's opening its trade office in Guyana is a mistake they should earnestly take steps to correct their mistake.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said "Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. One China principle is a commonly recognized international norm, and a consensus reached by the international community. We hope the relevant parties can abide by the One-China principle, not have any official ties with Taiwan, not set up any official organisations with Taiwan, and earnestly take steps to correct their mistake, eliminating any negative impact. We urge the current leadership of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party that any kind of actions to separate Taiwan with foreign forces will be doomed to fail."

Also read | In 'milestone' move, Taiwan opens trade office in Guyana

Meanwhile, Taiwan has opened a representative office in Guyana in South America, the island's foreign ministry said on February 4.

The announcement drew praise from the United States which has worried about deepening Chinese influence in Latin America.

The former British colony is strategically located next to strife-torn Venezuela, a major Chinese ally with which Guyana has a bitter territorial dispute.

"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.

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."

(With inputs from agencies)

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