Guatemalan President announces weekend trip to Taiwan
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei is set to begin his trip to Taipei on Saturday.
Two weeks after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen visited Guatemala, the island nation's President Alejandro Giammattei announced that he will be visiting Taiwan later this weekend.
The exchange of visits came at a time when tensions between the two island nations and China are increasing at various rates.
It was reported that Giammattei is set to begin his trip to Taipei on Saturday -- a decision that flows opposite to the foreign policy strategies of most Latin American nations.
While in Guatemala, Tsai had vowed to maintain assistance for what she called "democratic partners". On his part, Giammattei reaffirmed his administration's "recognition of the sovereignty" of Taiwan, in a blunt disregard to the One China Policy adhered to even by the US.
Guatemala sought to boost exports of coffee, sugar, and other local products by inking an agreement with Tsai, despite the upward trend of tensions looming over the island amid global geopolitical shifts.
Tsai's visit also confirmed Taiwan's readiness to establish a natural disasters fund that would assist Guatemala in the face of any forthcoming tragedy. Furthermore, Taiwan offered to provide assistance worth $1.5 million to establish and boost the air conditioning system across the Guatemala City airport.
It is worth noting that only 14 countries recognized Taiwan. However, in mid-March, Honduras announced it would cut ties with Taiwan and restored its ties with China, leaving Taiwan with only 13 states that recognize it.
Taiwan has to choose between 'peace and war': Ex-President
Former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said on April 7, 2023, at the end of a landmark visit to China that the island will in the future have to choose between "peace and war," condemning Taiwan’s current leadership.
“Our administration continues to lead Taiwan to danger,” Ma said, adding that Taiwan and China could potentially share a “common political basis” which would prove to be beneficial to the Taiwanese people.
In addition, he expressed hope that his visit to China will contribute to "Taiwan's future of real peace and safety."
Ma's visit took place during a period of tension with China heightened by a meeting between Tsai Ing-wen and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, during a stopover by the Taiwan leader in the United States.