Taiwan is to open a representative office in Guyana, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday, establishing a presence in the South American nation that is to focus on economic ties, before eventually offering commercial and consular services.
On Jan. 11, an agreement was inked with the Guyanese Department of Foreign Trade to establish a “Taiwan office,” with the possibility that Guyana would open a reciprocal office in Taiwan, the ministry said in a statement.
The South American nation is rich in minerals and oil, while its capital, Georgetown, houses the secretariat headquarters of the Caribbean Community cooperative bloc, the ministry said.
Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a morning news conference that the “Taiwan office” name was agreed upon by both sides.
It is to be the second foreign office that uses “Taiwan” in its title, following the establishment of the Taiwan Representative Office in Somaliland last year, Ou said.
Neither country has formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
A small team has been sent to Georgetown to conduct initial preparations, such as finding a location, after which an official representative would be appointed, Ou said, adding that plans are still being discussed and would be announced once they are finalized.
The office would have the same status as other representative offices Taipei has established, with the same capacity as missions in the EU, the UK, Israel and other nations with which Taiwan lacks official diplomatic ties, she said.
Although Georgetown has yet to issue a formal statement, Guyanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd on Wednesday confirmed the agreement, while denying there was any change to Guyana’s “one China” policy.
“Guyana is not establishing diplomatic relations with Taipei,” Todd told local reporters, adding that the office would merely facilitate private trade and investment.
The Web site of the Chinese embassy in Guyana said that Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Cui Jianchun (崔建春) issued a farewell address on Jan. 19, hailing the nation’s longstanding adherence to the “one China” principle, although Beijing has yet to announce his removal or appoint a successor.
Taiwan signed the deal with the knowledge that Georgetown has its own China policy, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
However, Taipei hopes there would be space to develop equal relations, the person said.
Taipei has “opened the door wide” for Guyana to establish a reciprocal office, but, given the COVID-19 pandemic, would welcome an announcement by Georgetown whenever the time is right, the source said.
While the details are still being negotiated, there would be “reciprocal and equal treatment,” they said.
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) applauded the deal.
“All countries should be free to pursue closer ties and greater cooperation with Taiwan, a leading democracy, a major economy and a force for good in the world,” the AIT said in a statement.
The US “remains committed to supporting Taiwan as it expands its international partnerships and works to address global challenges, including COVID-19,” it said. “We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security and values around the world.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) questioned the necessity of an office in a nation with which Taiwan has few interactions, accusing the government of establishing the office “just to add one more” to the list.
The government should be prudent with the nation’s limited resources, the KMT’s International Affairs Division said.
The ministry was criticized last year after it set up the Somaliland office, a place whose sovereignty is not recognized by UN members, the KMT said.
Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office, seven nations have severed diplomatic ties with Taipei and the nation remains shut out of most international organizations, the KMT said, calling on Taiwanese to press the administration to take practical action, not act on principle alone.
Taiwan has diplomatic relations with 15 countries, including nine in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Additional reporting by CNA
Citigroup Inc plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia, and the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank would instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said yesterday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by chief executive officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month. “This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth-management business offers through these important hubs,” Fraser said. Citigroup is to exit its consumer
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
MORE TRUSTWORTHY? While officials investigate whether the shelf life of AstraZeneca vaccines can be extended, the Moderna jab might boost inoculations Shipments of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are due to arrive in Taiwan next month, while another batch of AstraZeneca vaccines allotted to Taiwan under the COVAX program is due to arrive by June, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The Chinese-language Apple Daily reported that the Moderna vaccines might arrive at the end of this month or next month. The center in February said that Moderna had agreed to supply about 5 million doses to Taiwan, although at the time the center estimated that they would arrive in the middle of this year. Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥),
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both