Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019. 6:52 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Leader of the Opposition John Briceño has clarified that Caribbean Shores Area Representative Kareem Musa, Belize City Deputy Mayor Oscar Arnold, and Councilor Michael “Chips” Noralez did not represent the party on their trip to the People’s Republic of China(PRC) in August, though they made him aware of it.
Neither, he said, does the P.U.P. have any plans, at least for now, to advocate switching Belize’s alliance from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the PRC, as other nations have done.
Just this week, the Solomon Islands’ government voted to sever its longstanding ties with Taiwan and take up diplomatic relations with China, leaving the former with fewer than 20 allies worldwide, including Belize which recently celebrated 30 years in alliance with the island nation claimed by its giant mainland neighbor.
Said Briceño to reporters,“Our party to this day we have not had any discussion whether we are going to move our support from Taiwan and to support China. So we have not had that discussion so at the point as of today we continue to say that we will continue to support Taiwan.”
He added in response to a question of the Mainland Chinese seeking inroads with the Opposition, “Well, as far as I know, I have not spoken to anyone from China who has asked us to change our support from Taiwan to China. So I have not had that kind of discussion with anybody.”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, while discussing the issue in the House of Representatives recently said it would be impossible to try to maintain relations with both nations – that it had to be one or the other, and his government would continue to support Taiwan, which has its fingers in many projects in Belize.
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