Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen begins a two-country tour of Central America today. President Tsai’s visit begins in Guatemala where she
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen begins a two-country tour of Central America today.
President Tsai’s visit begins in Guatemala where she will meet with President Alejandro Giammattei. Tsai will then continue to Belize on April 3, where her activities include an address to the Belizean parliament and a state banquet hosted by Governor-General Froyla Tzalam.
The tour is aimed at shoring up waning support for Taiwan in Latin America. Guatemala and Belize are the only remaining Central American countries to maintain official relations with Taipei after Honduras switched its diplomatic recognition to China last week. In Paraguay—the sole South American nation that still has formal ties with Taiwan—bilateral relations are threatened by upcoming elections later this month.
As the number of its diplomatic allies in the region continues to dwindle, Taiwan may seek to reinforce its remaining partnerships by increasing the frequency of high-level visits and boosting developmental assistance. Nevertheless, China’s growing economic influence in Latin America through mutually profitable trade and regional infrastructure investment, as well as China’s heavy handed “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy gatekeeping development with political alignment means more Latin America and Caribbean nations are likely to shift diplomatic recognition to Beijing in the medium- to long-term.