TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Guatemala’s support for Taiwan has never wavered, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Tuesday (Feb. 6), after Guatemala Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martinez revealed the Central American country was considering establishing trade relations with China.
“We are going to continue working with Taiwan at the levels we have been doing," Martinez said, "But the president has pointed out that we cannot ignore the weight and power China represents."
In response, the Chinese foreign ministry said Guatemala would have to adhere to its “one China” principle as a prerequisite to engage in bilateral cooperation.
MOFA pointed out that Guatemala President Bernardo Arevalo has consistently supported Taiwan-Guatemala diplomatic relations, per a foreign ministry statement. Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) attended Arevalo’s inauguration, during which he assured Wu that he would uphold and maintain the friendship between Taiwan and Guatemala.
MOFA reiterated Taiwan is a sovereign and independent country, not subordinate to China. “China has never ruled over Taiwan, which is a well-known objective fact and the current situation,” the ministry said.
“The diplomatic relations between our country and allied nations are based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit, and other countries have no right to interfere,” it added.
China never stops trying to suppress Taiwan’s international space and has tried to undermine relations between Taiwan and its allies, MOFA said. It called on Beijing to focus its energy on its economy, ensure Chinese livelihoods are stable, and cause less trouble in the international community.