The US encourages Guyana and Taiwan to advance their partnership and more countries to expand “unofficial ties” with Taiwan, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said in a statement yesterday.
The statement came after Guyana reneged on an agreement made with Taiwan on Jan. 11 to establish a Taiwan office in the South American country, citing its adherence to the “one China” policy and “miscommunication” over the signed agreement.
The AIT had applauded the agreement, but was silent after the deal’s termination, until yesterday.
“The United States encourages Guyana and Taiwan to continue building on their strong partnership. Our support for Taiwan is rock solid,” AIT spokeswoman Amanda Mansour said in the statement.
“Taiwan is a friend that benefits the world through partnerships that advance security, democratic values and prosperity based on mutual respect and transparency. We encourage more countries to deepen unofficial ties with Taiwan,” she said.
“Taiwan is a leading democracy, a vibrant economic partner, a technology powerhouse and a shining example of how an open society can effectively contain COVID-19. The United States looks forward to working closely with Taiwan in the region to strengthen democracy and economic growth,” she said.
The US embassy in Guyana has not commented since it applauded the agreement to have a Taiwan office in Guyana.
Before terminating the deal, the Guyanese government issued a statement saying that China had earmarked 20,000 vaccines for Guyana, along with a photograph showing Guyanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd meeting with Chinese Charge d’Affaires to Guyana Chen Xilai (陳錫來).
“China has made significant contributions to Guyana’s development since the establishment of diplomatic relations on June 27, 1972. This is evident from several programs, including the attachment of Chinese doctors to the nation’s hospitals as well as the implementation of a number of major infrastructural projects,” the statement read.
“This donation [of vaccines] is another tangible demonstration of the importance of the bilateral relationship between Guyana and China,” it read.
After the deal was terminated, Todd told The Associated Press on Friday that the government had initially not seen anything wrong in allowing Taiwan to set up an office to push trade and investment in Guyana, which has in the past 14 months become one of the world’s newest nations to export oil.
“For us this was just a market opportunity for the two private sectors to conduct business, but there are some geopolitics involved here,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Additional reporting by AP
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