World

Guatemala to maintain Taiwan ties despite seeking greater China trade

2024.02.08 18:41

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Guatemala’s new President Bernardo Arevalo attends a ceremony the place he shall be recognised as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, in Guatemala City, Guatemala, January 15, 2024. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

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By Sofia Menchu

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala has no intention of breaking diplomatic relations with Taiwan despite seeking nearer financial hyperlinks with China, President Bernardo Arevalo mentioned on Thursday, pledging to increase ties with each gamers in parallel.

Guatemala is one in all solely a handful of countries that also maintains formal ties with Taiwan. Next-door Honduras final yr switched allegiances to China, which claims Taiwan as its personal, after seeking virtually $2.5 billion in help from Beijing.

Arevalo assumed workplace in mid-January vowing to finish corruption and set up relations with China, elevating the likelihood that these ties would possibly come on the expense of historic diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Such an end result appeared nearer this week when Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martinez informed Reuters Guatemala was contemplating reaching out to China to develop formal trade ties, prompting the opposition to search clarification on Guatemala’s overseas coverage plans.

Publicly reaffirming the nation’s Taiwan ties for the primary time since taking workplace, Arevalo mentioned his administration won’t change course.

“We are not choosing,” Arevalo informed Reuters in an interview in Guatemala City’s National Palace. “Diplomatic relations are with Taiwan and with the People’s Republic of China there are trade relations that will continue to develop.”

Arevalo, an educational and former diplomat, has promised to sort out the basis causes of migration, particularly rampant poverty that has fueled an enormous exodus of Guatemalans to the U.S. largely via unlawful routes. In 2022, about 233,000 Guatemalans arrived at U.S. borders.

To broaden authorized migration choices, Arevalo’s administration is now seeking a “significant increase” in quotas for momentary employee visas that Guatemalans can acquire below an settlement with the United States, the president mentioned.

“We want to make this a pretty significant initiative,” he mentioned, including that the 2 nations are in talks about “mechanisms” that Guatemala can use to sate the demand for labor in cities and rural areas within the United States.

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