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Belize and Guatemala reaffirm diplomatic ties with Taiwan amid shrinking allies

Posted: Saturday, April 8, 2023. 7:27 am CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Belize and Guatemala have reaffirmed their diplomatic ties with Taiwan during Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to Central America, amid a shrinking number of allies.

Belize’s Prime Minister Johnny Briceño said in a speech before the National Assembly that they can promote shared values like democracy, self-determination, and respect for international law, while Guatemala’s leader declared its relationship with the self-governed island “unchangeable” during Tsai’s visit.

The two Central American nations represent two of Taiwan’s 13 formal allies across the world, with a number that has declined due to China’s pressure and money.

Belize’s affirmation of ties with Taiwan came just a week after Honduras announced it would cut allegiances with Taiwan in favor of China, possibly prompted by a $300 million hydroelectric dam project built by a Chinese company.

Over the past two decades, China has invested more than $130 billion in Latin America and invested in major infrastructure, energy, and space projects, carving out a space for itself in the region.

Taipei has struggled to keep up with China’s growing influence, while China’s investment has translated to increased power and a growing number of allies in a time of geopolitical importance.

During her visit to Guatemala, Tsai visited a rural hospital built with a donation from Taiwan meanwhile Prime Minister Briceño listed off several development projects funded by Taiwan, including farming programs and funds to build key infrastructure like hospitals, before Belize’s National Assembly.

The reaffirmation of diplomatic ties between Taiwan and Belize and Guatemala has come as a significant boost for Taiwan.China’s aggressive moves to isolate Taiwan diplomatically have made it crucial for Taiwan to maintain ties with its remaining allies. These diplomatic relations also offer economic, cultural, and security benefits to Taiwan, which has had a difficult time navigating a global political environment dominated by China. However, the situation remains fluid, and China’s continued rise and influence may put more pressure on Taiwan’s diplomatic efforts in the future.


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