Belize reaffirms ties with Taipei as Taiwanese president visits By Reuters

© Reuters. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen arrives at Philip S. W. Goldson Worldwide Airport, Belize Metropolis, Belize on this handout image launched April 3, 2023. Taiwan Presidential Workplace/Handout through REUTERS


By Jose Sanchez

BELIZE CITY (Reuters) – The prime minister of Belize gave Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen a welcome diplomatic enhance throughout her go to on Monday, underlining his nation’s assist for Taiwan after rival China gained a brand new regional ally final month.

Tsai’s go to comes per week after Honduras severed diplomatic relations with Taipei in favor of Beijing amid heightened U.S.-China tensions. China claims democratically dominated Taiwan as its personal territory with no proper to state-to-state ties, a place Taipei strongly rejects.

“Belize welcomes you into our house with open arms,” Prime Minister John Briceno instructed Tsai throughout a joint session of the Nationwide Meeting in Belmopan, the capital of the small Central American nation of some 400,000 individuals.

Briceno ticked off a few of Taipei’s largesse, thanking it for scholarships, farming applications and a $16.5 million grant to construct a hospital within the island city and fashionable vacationer hub of San Pedro.

As Tsai listened, Briceno applauded a declaration lawmakers handed final month reaffirming Belize’s formal recognition of Taiwan as a sovereign and unbiased nation.

In her remarks, Tsai spoke of “expansionist threats from authoritarian regimes,” including that “the individuals of Taiwan face fixed threats from the neighbor on the opposite aspect of the Taiwan Straits,” referring to China.

On Sunday, Tsai wrapped up a three-day go to to neighboring Guatemala, Central America’s largest financial system, and earlier than that made a controversial stopover in New York, angering China, which has repeatedly warned U.S. officers to not meet her.

Guatemala and Belize are two of simply 13 international locations that Taiwan has diplomatic relations with. Honduras was the most recent in a sequence of Central American international locations to change allegiance to Beijing in recent times, together with Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador.

The Taiwanese chief is ready to fulfill with U.S. Home Speaker Kevin McCarthy in a second U.S. stopover in California on Wednesday.

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