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At Mayan ruins, leaders of Taiwan, Guatemala reaffirm ties

GUATEMALA CITY: Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and her Guatemalan counterpart, Alejandro Giammattei, on Saturday (Mar 1) took within the jungle ruins of a Mayan civilisation citadel the place they noticed an historical ritual earlier than an enormous stone pyramid referred to as El Gran Jaguar.

The 2 shook fingers there and vowed to keep up sturdy ties within the face of a diplomatic offensive by China, which sees Taiwan as a part of its territory awaiting reunification.

The assembled dignitaries “witness at this time the strengthening of the friendship between our nations”, Guatemalan deputy tradition minister Jenny Barrios stated.

Tsai’s go to, which may even take her to Belize, comes days after neighboring Honduras broke diplomatic relations with Taipei to hyperlink up with Beijing, which doesn’t permit nations to recognise each China and Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro is anticipated to go to China quickly.

The 2 presidents walked to a close-by esplanade and shook fingers for a symbolic official picture whereas a bonfire lit throughout a Mayan dance ceremony burned. In addition they witnessed a conventional ball recreation performed in Mayan occasions.

In a gathering with Giammattei on Friday night time, Tsai thanked him for his assist final 12 months when China carried out navy maneuvers close to the island.

She additionally highlighted cooperation with Guatemala, certainly one of solely 13 diplomatic allies the self-governing island has on this planet, largely small nations within the Caribbean, the Pacific and Latin America.

Chatting with the media with Tsai at his facet, Giammattei known as Taiwan “the one and solely true China”.

Some Guatemalans imagine their nation is shedding financial alternatives by selecting Taiwan over mainland China.

“China is a market of multiple billion folks, and it could be within the curiosity of some Guatemalan sectors to export and import merchandise from China,” sociologist and political analyst Miguel Angel Sandoval advised AFP.

On Sunday, Tsai will go to a brand new hospital within the metropolis of Chimaltenango, in western Guatemala, constructed with a US$22 million donation from Taipei.

Tsai will then depart for Belize, the place she is to fulfill with Prime Minister John Briceno on Monday and depart on Tuesday.

On her approach house, Tsai will cease in California to fulfill with US Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a gathering that prompted China to warn Washington that it’s “enjoying with hearth”.

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