Gov’t terminates agreement for Taiwan office here

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Less than a day after Taiwan announced the establishment of an investment office in Guyana, leading to questions over Guyana’s adherence to the One China Policy, the Guyana Government announced that it has terminated the agreement.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Thursday noted that the decision to terminate the agreement was as a consequence of “miscommunication.”

“The Government has not established any diplomatic ties or relations with Taiwan and as a result of the miscommunication of the agreement signed, this agreement has since been terminated,” the statement noted.

The government also reiterated that it continues to adhere to the One China policy and its diplomatic relations remain intact with the People’s Republic of China.

It was the United States Embassy in Georgetown that announced the establishment of a Taiwan office here and welcomed the move; Washington has long expressed growing concern about China’s deepening influence in the Caribbean and Latin America.

While there had been no formal announcement by the Foreign Ministry in Georgetown, Taiwan said it signed the agreement on January 11, 2021, and started operations on January 15.

Following the announcement of the Taiwan office, the News Room had contacted Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd, on Wednesday night who confirmed that the Taiwan office will be merely to facilitate trade and investment between the private sectors of Guyana and China and does not represent the start of diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

Guyana has historically supported China and the “One China” policy, which does not recognise Taiwan as an independent state.

The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry had tweeted that “the facility” in Georgetown represents the commitment of both sides to promoting a partnership of prosperity based on democratic values across areas like agriculture, education, investment and trade.”

See the full statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation below:

PRESS RELEASE

The Government of Guyana has noted various media releases on the matter of a Taiwan Office in Guyana.

The Government of Guyana wishes to clarify that it continues to adhere to the One China policy and its diplomatic relations remain intact with the People’s Republic of China.

The Government has not established any diplomatic ties or relations with Taiwan and as a result of the miscommunication of the agreement signed, this agreement has since been terminated.

February 4, 2021

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