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In a statement on Thursday, the APNU+AFC said that it will probably take years to repair and rebuild diplomatic trust with the Chinese Government after the People’s Progressive Party/Civic’s “gigantic diplomatic blunder” to supposedly form ties with breakaway province, Taiwan to set up an Office in Guyana.
Earlier on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the termination of Guyana’s agreement with Taiwan a day after it was announced by the US Embassy. The Ministry indicated that there was some form of miscommunication that it recognizes the province as independent of China.
The Ministry said that such is untrue as it maintains good relations with China and is in support of the One-China policy. However, earlier on Thursday, according to The Guardian, Taiwan’s foreign ministry announced it had signed an agreement with Guyana to open a Taiwan office.
The Guardian stated further that Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, had responded to the move by saying Beijing hoped Guyana would not engage in official ties with Taiwan, calling on the country to “earnestly take steps to correct their mistake”.
In its press statement, the APNU+AFC said that it is concerned that only after the “danger and recklessness” of such a decision was exposed did the Government withdraw the permission to set up the Office.
“The damage however, has been done. Decades-old strong relations between Guyana and China have become strained in under 6 months of the PPP regime’s installation in office,” the APNU+AFC stated.
“Less than 24 hours prior, news broke from the United States Embassy in Guyana that the PPP had granted permission for the setting up of the trade office, a de facto Taiwanese embassy, and that such facility was already operational. This was confirmed by both Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elizabeth Harper…the decision by the PPP regime to grant permission to open the de facto Taiwanese embassy and having to rescind such permission after pressure from all quarters locally and internationally, underscores the PPP’s unlearned, irresponsible and perilous approach to Guyana’s foreign policy.”
It is known that China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which it has vowed to retake by force if necessary. However, Taiwan’s leaders argue that the island is a sovereign state. The US has supported Taiwan in the past by supplying defensive weapons to protect against Beijing’s assertions.
Just six days ago, China warned Taiwan that any attempt to gain independence would result in “war” – a warning that was preceded by increased military activities by China that saw warplanes flying near the island.
The APNU+AFC Opposition used the occasion to reaffirm its commitment to the One China Policy and the strong, decades-old relations with the people and government of China.
It also expressed its regret to the People’s Republic of China for the “irrational and impetuous act by the PPP regime” reminding that Guyana’s foreign policy must continue to be founded on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, non-interference, multilateralism and strong relations with all states.