Despite challenges, China satisfied with Guyana’s adherence to One-China-Policy


By Kurt Campbell


In 1972, Guyana took the lead and became the first country in the English-Speaking Caribbean to establish diplomatic relations with China.

This year, the two countries will be celebrating 50 years of friendship – a relationship that the Chinese Ambassador to Guyana Guo Haiyan says enjoys strong political trust.

But even before 1972 and the establishment of bilateral relations, in 1971 Guyana voted in favour of the United Nations Resolution to support the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations.

Although at the time there were no formal relations, Guyana recognised then and it does now, only one China.

The One China policy is the diplomatic acknowledgment of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. According to the BBC, under the policy, countries recognise and have formal ties with China rather than the island of Taiwan, which China sees as a breakaway province to be reunified with the mainland one day.

On June 27, 1972 Guyana officially confirmed to the One-China-Policy, the underlying principle guiding China’s relationship with other countries.

It asserts China’s territorial integrity and holds the position that there is only one sovereign state under the name China and Taiwan is part of China, as opposed to the idea that there are two states, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC).

China has said that it is satisfied with Guyana’s adherence to the policy despite challenges over the years.

“Over the past 50 years there were challenges but our relations stood the test. Every government since has reiterated to the One-China-Policy,” Ambassador Gua said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hugh Todd with China’s new Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan

Concerns were raised last year when on February 4, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry announced that it was opening a representative’s office in Guyana.

A day later, Guyana backed out of the agreement and made the announcement in a statement.

Before the statement from Guyana, China’s Foreign Ministry chimed in, with spokesperson Wang Wenbin warning Guyana of consequences, to abide by the One-China principle, refrain from any form of official exchanges and establishment of official institutions with Taiwan.

One year on, relations between China and Guyana remain ripe with major celebrations planned for the 50th anniversary.

“We believe China and Guyana are each other’s genuine friends and important development partners,” the Ambassador said.

Ms. Guo said too “50 years is a very important milestone.”

In this regard, a calendar of activities has been planned to celebrate the friendship. It comes days after China and Guyana signed an agreement that will see China investing between US$10 – US$12 million to construct a China/Guyana Friendship Park.

A reception, film festival, online exhibition and the publishing of an Anthology of the two countries friendship are on the cards.

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