Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen yesterday said that his country resolutely opposes the establishment of ties with Beijing, despite increasing pressure from China.
Companies in Paraguay have been calling for the government to cut ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing, but “Taiwan, not China, is Paraguay’s friend,” Guillen cited Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez as saying.
Benitez hopes Taiwan and Paraguay will continue to deepen that friendship, Guillen said during an inauguration ceremony for the 23-member Republic of China (Taiwan) — Republic of Paraguay Inter-parliamentarian Friendship Association.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wen Yu-hsia (溫玉霞), who launched the association, said she hopes it will be a “bridge between the two countries through which its members can make contributions” to the friendship between the two nations.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Tsao (曹立傑), Overseas Community Affairs Council Vice Chairwoman Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青), Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) and KMT Legislator Sandy Yeh (葉毓蘭) also attended the ceremony at the legislature in Taipei.
Despite the two nations’ geographical distance, Paraguay has been an important ally, demonstrated by Taiwan’s donation of 1 million masks and other medical supplies to help Paraguayan medical workers deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, Wen said.
Although Beijing has been trying to coerce Asuncion into switching recognition by pressuring Paraguayan companies, Paraguayans have the right to choose their friends, Guillen said.
Paraguay is Taiwan’s most important ally in South America, and a strong trading partner, Tsao said.
By the end of this year, Taiwan would have imported an estimated 20,000 tonnes of Paraguayan beef worth US$100 million, 10 times the amount it imported five years ago, he said.
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