Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, He thanked this Tuesday for the support and “extraordinary contribution” of his Guatemalan counterpart, Alejandro Giammattei, to strengthen relations between the two. Tsai today received Giammattei, who is making an official visit to the island, with military honors, and imposed the Order of the Brilliant Jade with Great Cordthe highest decoration awarded by Taiwan and which can only be worn by heads of state, reports Efe.
“On behalf of the Taiwanese people, we award this Order to recognize the extraordinary contribution to strengthening our ties, as well as to express our deepest gratitude,” Tsai said. “In recent years, taiwan The US and Guatemala have been able to prosper together, and steps to deepen our cooperation have not stopped. This friendship has touched Taiwanese people,” he said.
For his part, Giammattei indicated that the relationship between Taiwan and Guatemala is based “on mutual respect and solidarity, in the defense of democracy and in improving the well-being of our populations”. Before the meeting, the Guatemalan president reaffirmed “the unwavering support and friendship of the people and the government of his country towards the Republic of Taiwan” during his speech before the legislative Yuan (the Taiwanese Parliament). , which also presented him with an honorary medal for parliamentary diplomacy.
Not in vain it is the first time that a foreign head of state has spoken in the chamber in ten years, and Giammattei opted to call the “free international community” to commit to “the demand for respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Taiwan.” “While other nations choose interest over friendship, Guatemala stands firm,” he said to applause from Taiwanese lawmakers.
Giammattei’s visit comes just weeks after her Taiwanese counterpart visited Guatemala during a tour that also included a stop in Belize and two stops in the United States that drew angry protests from China.
Guatemala -which celebrated 62 years of relations with the island last November- and Belize are the only two remaining diplomatic partners of Taiwan in Central America. after Honduras broke its ties with Taipei on March 26 to establish them with China.
The Tegucigalpa decision also made Honduras the ninth country – and the fifth Latin American country – that since 2016 has cut with the island to ally with China, thus joining Panama, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, among others.
Following Tsai’s stay in Guatemala at the beginning of April, the Chinese government expressed its hope that that country would “realize the general trend” and “make the right decision,” according to Mao Ning, one of the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersons. China claims sovereignty over Taiwan, an island it has considered rebel territory since Kuomintang nationalists withdrew there after losing the civil war to the communist army in 1949.