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Guatemala pledges to 'always support' Taiwan, despite China's criticism

Guatemala is one of the only remaining 14 countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan

August 30, 2022 6:32pm

Updated: August 31, 2022 8:47am

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Mario Bucaro said on Tuesday in Taipei that the Central American country will “always support” Taiwan, despite China’s criticism.

While meeting with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office in Taipei, Bucaro added that Guatemala and Taiwan were “like-minded countries” that were tied by a “democratic alliance.”

"Guatemala will always support Taiwan because we have a firm belief in the principles of peace, sovereignty, and territorial integrity," said Bucaro in his first visit since assuming his role. 

"Peace is non-negotiable, but especially sovereignty is non-negotiable," he added.

Bucaro said that his visit, which comes at a time when China is ramping up military drills close to the island, is proof of Guatemala's commitment to support Taiwan. 

China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, however, criticized the meeting. He said that Taiwan’s ruling party was deceiving itself by using “diplomatic ties for political manipulation,” which “cannot stop the historical inevitability of China’s reunification.”  

Zhao urged Guatemala to keep its ties “in line with the historical trend.”

China views the self-governed island as a province of the mainland with no rights of its own.

Guatemala is one of the only remaining 14 countries that have diplomatic ties with Taiwan after many countries have switched over to recognize mainland China instead. The Central American country is also Taiwan's oldest ally, with diplomatic relations being established in 1933. 

The only two other Central American countries that recognize Taiwan are Honduras and Belize. Since President Tsai Ing-wen came to power in 2016, eight countries have cut ties with the island-state—four of those in Latin America.

In December of last year, one of Taiwan's remaining Central American ties, chose to re-establish its ties with China.