South American State Stands Firm With Taiwan

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The president-elect of Paraguay, Santiago Pena, has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to recognizing Taiwan, Reuters reports.

Pena, a right-wing economist, made the continued ties to Taiwan part of his campaign. Farmers have pushed for recognition of Beijing to open the large agricultural market. Pena was reported as saying:

“We are going to develop an intense international agenda in the coming days carrying the message that Paraguay and its people are up for great things,” he tweeted.

While answering questions, Pena also mentioned that he will be meeting with Taiwanese officials in various diplomatic tours he has planned to undertake.

He will be in Taiwan for the 66th anniversary of diplomatic ties on Wednesday, the ministry said.

Pena will take office on Aug. 15. Diplomatic sources have told Reuters that Lai might attend as Taiwan’s representative, likely transiting the United States to meet U.S. officials.

Few countries continue to recognize Taiwan as the legitimate government of China, the “Republic of China.” In accordance with the “One China Policy”, countries can only recognize Beijing or Taiwan as the legitimate government of all of China, not both. Paraguay is the only country in South America still recognizing Taiwan, while the other ten or so countries are in Central America and the Caribbean. Beijing has been offering economic deals for countries to switch their recognition.

The United States itself ceased to officially recognize Taiwan in 1979 during the Carter Administration. While this allowed greater economic opportunity with the largest mainland market, America continues to provide Taiwan with weapons. While previously known as “strategic ambiguity”, America’s support of Taiwan in case of a war is now open due to Biden’s statement innate 2021.


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