Guatemala president says expects Taiwan to deepen regional ties

Guatemala president says expects Taiwan to deepen regional ties
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen and her Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales wave during a photo opportunity at the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City. Photo: Reuters
Published: 6:00 AM, January 12, 2017

GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala said on Wednesday it expected Taiwan to deepen economic ties with the region, as President Tsai Ing-wen is visiting Central America at a time when China suspects she is seeking formal independence from the mainland.

Tsai landed in Honduras and Nicaragua this week on a trip that will also take in El Salvador. She met with U.S. Republican lawmakers in a Houston stopover last weekend, angering China.

"I'm sure that her administration will strengthen economic ties and cooperation in the region," Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said at a news conference with Tsai.

Beijing was furious when U.S. President-elect Donald Trump broke years of diplomatic tradition by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai on his surprise election win. Beijing regards the one-China policy as the basis of its relations with the United States.

Tsai said at the news conference that Taiwan was ready and able to contribute to the world, needs a more active role, and thanked Guatemala for its support.

On Tuesday, Nicaragua said it wanted to secure bigger international recognition for Taiwan. REUTERS