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Belize seeks enhanced military cooperation with Taiwan

minister of national security in taiwan

Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2023. 7:39 am CST.

Photo credit: Embassy of Belize ROC -Taiwan

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Belize is keen to strengthen its military ties with Taiwan, seeking further training and potential procurement of military equipment from Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, Belize’s Minister of National Defence and Border Security Florencio Marin Jr. revealed to Taiwan News on Tuesday (June 27).

Marin highlighted the value of military diplomacy in building strong Belize-Taiwan relations. The minister expressed hope for the Belize Defence Force (BDF) to receive more extensive military training from various departments within Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, while also looking to procure military equipment, including surveillance technology and personal equipment for BDF soldiers.

Taiwan previously donated two Huey helicopters to the BDF Air Wing in 2016. These helicopters have been instrumental in troop transport, rescue missions, and tackling crime along Belize’s borders.

Praising Taiwan’s military, Marin emphasized the importance of having personnel studying and training in Taiwan, citing Taiwan’s human resources as a significant asset. “They are best equipped to be able to give us the best training for our soldiers and our sailors,” Marin said to Taiwan News.

The defense minister highlighted the national security challenges Belize faces due to its porous border with Guatemala. Belize also battles transnational criminal networks, a task that sometimes requires independent action and cooperation with other countries. Marin believes that Taiwan’s expertise could significantly help Belize’s military and coast guard to effectively interdict these criminals.

The Minister of State in Belize’s Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, Christopher Coye, said Belize is also looking to widen its mutually beneficial relationship with Taiwan in terms of trade and investment. As Belize diversifies its economy from tourism and agriculture to business, outsourcing, and seafood sectors, Coye sees promising opportunities for foreign investment and joint ventures, which Taiwan could be part of.

In the post-COVID era, Coye hopes for continued upward development, with a focus on environmentally conscious and stable growth. He emphasized that this aligns with Belize’s brand of being “wedded to the environment” and is looking forward to the symbiotic relationship between people and nature.

Marin is currently leading a delegation of six on a five-day visit to Taiwan to strengthen bilateral ties and explore new cooperation areas. The delegation will visit various institutions, including the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ocean Affairs Council, the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science and Technology, and several shipbuilding companies.

 

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