Taiwan to open office in Guyana; US welcomes move; – Then Suddenly Terminated the next day

Taiwan flag

Guyana has granted permission to Taiwan to open an office in Georgetown to facilitate trade and investment, but government has assured that the South American nation’s One China Policy remains intact, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Elisabeth Harper said Wednesday night.

“Guyana has not recognised Taiwan as a State. We continue to accept the One China policy and our diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China remains intact,” she told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News.     

She said China was aware of Guyana’s decision that was taken in January, 2021 granted for Taiwan to open an office in Guyana. Further, she said Guyana has informed China that the One China Policy would remain unchanged. “We have done that and it remains intact. That is a position that Guyana will not back-track on,” she said.

Ambassador Harper explained that the decision to allow Taiwan  to open an office in in Guyana was aimed at attracting trade and investment opportunities. “That is what the focus is; there is nothing on the diplomatic side…It’s not something that is new. I believe that when you look at what is happening in the world, when you look at what is happening in Guyana’s economic trajectory and the fact that we are opening up our country for business, then we are looking for credible investments and to give opportunities even to our private sector to do joint ventures even with credible businesses and other businesses that want to invest,” he said.

News of the development  first came in a United States (US) embassy statement Wednesday evening, welcoming the move by Guyana. “The United States applauds the agreement to establish a Taiwan Office in Guyana.  Deepening ties between Guyana and Taiwan will advance their shared goals of prosperity and security.  Closer ties with Taiwan will advance cooperation and development in Guyana on the basis of shared democratic values, transparency, and mutual respect,” the US said through its embassy in Georgetown.

Guyana has for decades rigidly stuck to its One China policy, only recognising the People’s Republic of China in all international fora.  Guyana has over the years benefitted from grants, soft loans and medical teams.

Ambassador Harper said there are several other countries that enjoy diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, but have Taiwan Offices that deal with trade and economic issues. ”

Against the background of the US repeated criticism of the quality of Chinese construction projects, President Irfaan Ali is on record as saying that Guyana’s relationship would not be confined to one country.

The top Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said the US played no role in Guyana’s decision to green-light the Taiwan Office in Georgetown.

The US has been warning China against escalating tensions, amid war games such as the flying of fighter jets and the presence of warships over and near Taiwan as a warning of conflict if  Taipei declares independence. China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province that will be eventually reintegrated with the mainland.

Since coming to power in August, 2020, the People’s Progressive Party Civic-led administration appeared to be very pro-American. Decisions include supporting a US nominee for the presidency of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and activating the more than 22-year old Ship Rider Agreement with US to allow for joint patrols in the fight against narco-trafficking and illegal and unregulated fishing.

Last month, the United States Coast Guard and the Guyana Defence Force Coast Guard conducted nearshore joint patrols to counter illegal and unregulated fishing in the Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Head of the US Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller on Wednesday again reiterated that Chinese fishing vessels, with the backing of the Chinese government, turn off their location transponders so that they could ravage fishing grounds around the world.

China has already promised not to tolerate the violation of fishing laws.

———————————————————————–

Guyana scraps Taiwan Office agreement a day after US disclosure

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Guyana government on Thursday backed down from its decision to grant approval for a Taiwan Office to be opened here, a day after the disclosure by the United States (US).

“The Government has not established any diplomatic ties or relations with Taiwan and as a result of the miscommunication of the agreement signed, this agreement has since been terminated,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The statement came just hours after Chinese Embassy officials met with Foreign Minister Hugh Todd and his other top officials.

The Guyana government sought to reassure  that this South American nation “continues to adhere to the One China policy and its diplomatic relations remain intact with the People’s Republic of China.”

The Guyana government did not make public the agreement that was reached last month with Taiwan. Guyana’s decision was made public by the United States (US) in a statement welcoming the move.

Reuters News Agency earlier Thursday reported that the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing hoped Guyana would not engage in official ties with Taiwan, calling on the country to “earnestly take steps to correct their mistake”.

The US Embassy Wednesday night said, “the United States applauds the agreement to establish a Taiwan Office in Guyana.  Deepening ties between Guyana and Taiwan will advance their shared goals of prosperity and security.  Closer ties with Taiwan will advance cooperation and development in Guyana on the basis of shared democratic values, transparency, and mutual respect.”

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On 02/04/2021 at 1:43 am

    Indeed !
    Our world is no longer “local”
    It is “global”….not flat but round !
    Karma rules …what goes arround comes arround.
    Truth to power !

    Am an advocate of “freer and fairer” trade.
    Free of tax or tariffs !
    Am anti protectionist policies as per USA EU et al. Am also anti formation of trade blocks….
    as per OPEC BRICS et al.
    WTO rules must change to accommodate all the planet peoples preferences etc etc

    Fast forward
    Enter the digital age
    Digital currency to compliment/replace the
    paper/plastic/coinage ones.
    Fixed exchange rates. ???

    Go google FMI

    Guyana is coming of age !
    Entering the world stage.
    Go Guyana go
    Guyana got talent.

    Kamtan uk-ex-EU
    Change in USA should benefit Guyana

    • wally n  On 02/04/2021 at 6:31 pm

      Guyana is coming of age !
      Entering the world stage.
      Go Guyana go
      Guyana got talent.

      someone better give Guyana the book “Small steps 101”
      before they lose their shorts
      Stepping into a political VISE
      Buckle up.

  • brandli62  On 02/04/2021 at 4:31 pm

    Taiwan is a liberal democracy with an effective rule of law, universal health care, and a free press. It is for example the first Asian country to legalise same-sex marriages. It has a vibrant and highly innovative economy. It protects personal freedom to a significant higher level than Singapore, which has a very poor record in press freedom. In addition, Taiwan has been very effective in containing the corona virus pandemic. Given all this, why shouldn’t Guyana not entertain contacts with such a nation?

    The existence of a free and democratically ruled Taiwan is a constant threat to the supremacy demands of the communists in China. Chinese are very much able to establish a stable democracy with free elections and regular changes of power.

    • Dennis Albert  On 02/06/2021 at 7:34 pm

      Chinese own many of the six to ten storey buildings in GT. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Chinese gov’t personally owned a share in those high rises.

  • guyaneseonline  On 02/04/2021 at 10:31 pm

    Agreement with Taiwan terminated – -gov’t reiterates `One China Policy’

    By Stabroek News – February 4, 2021

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs today said that an agreement which had been announced yesterday for the setting up of a Taiwan office has been terminated.

    This afternoon, Takuba Lodge said:

    “The Government of Guyana has noted various media releases on the matter of a Taiwan Office in Guyana.

    “The Government of Guyana wishes to clarify that it continues to adhere to the One China policy and its diplomatic relations remain intact with the People’s Republic of China.

    “The Government has not established any diplomatic ties or relations with Taiwan and as a result of the miscommunication of the agreement signed, this agreement has since been terminated”.

    The surprise agreement which was first announced by the US Embassy here yesterday was seen as undermining Guyana’s longstanding `One China Policy’ crafted in 1972. It was seen as risking a grave deterioration of relations with China as it approaches superpower status.

    China had today criticised the decision for the setting up of the office.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Beijing hoped Guyana would not engage in official ties with Taiwan, calling on the country to “earnestly take steps to correct their mistake”.

    Questions will now be asked about who in the government or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pursued this agenda and with what authority. It will be seen as a major diplomatic blunder.

    • kamtanblog  On 02/05/2021 at 3:28 am

      This u turn only exposes the naievity of the
      present administration in the protocols of diplomacy ! Hyprocracy of some political
      jackasses elected to rule. In politricks the
      unspoken is sometimes more effective.
      This will become more important an issue
      as Guyana joins the “developed” world club.
      With wealth comes responsibility.
      The road ahead is fraught with obstacles/mistakes/decisions.
      We never stop learning.
      History teaches fools
      It is wise not to repeat its mistakes.
      Forever the optimist !

      Guyana got talent
      Let it shine
      Opportunities for all
      Go Guyana go

      Kamtan uk-ex-EU
      Off my soap box

  • brandli62  On 02/05/2021 at 4:12 am

    I could not agree more with Kamtan’s analysis. What were they thinking? The Chinese response was to be expected! The Ali administration was apparently not prepared to harness the Chinese anger. I would have definitely made it clear to the Chinese ambassador that Guyana is a sovereign state and entertains friendly relationships with all nations on this planet, especially if they are liberal democracies. In addition, Guyana expects that China makes it publicly clear to its ally Venezuela that they should back off from incursions into Guyanese territorial waters. This would be smart politics. Everything else makes you look like a laughing stock.

  • wally n  On 02/05/2021 at 12:36 pm

    and I…….accept your apologies….enjoy the veal and tip your waiter on the way out!

    • brandli62  On 02/05/2021 at 2:37 pm

      Actually, my wife suggested that the Chinese might have “tipped” the Ali administration to cancel the agreement with Taiwan.

  • wally n  On 02/05/2021 at 2:43 pm

    OOPS!!!! Define “tipped” you think a sledge hammer was involved??

  • brandli62  On 02/05/2021 at 2:49 pm

    No, how about 2 million USD into a trust fund on the Channel Islands for personal expenses? Realistic?

  • wally n  On 02/05/2021 at 3:26 pm

    bingo….that’s a hammer thanks

  • brandli62  On 02/05/2021 at 3:39 pm

    Peanuts for the Chinese….

  • Peter De Abreu  On 02/06/2021 at 2:40 pm

    The Guyana Government has to stop acting as though it were the Communist China’s Pet Poodle.

    Bro Pete

  • Middager  On 02/08/2021 at 8:08 am

    Wish some day Taiwan and Guyana can have real diplomatic relationship.

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