Last Updated on Thursday, 4 February 2021, 19:04 by Denis Chabrol
The opposition APNU+AFC says the now aborted decision by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC)-led government to allow Taiwan to set up an office in Guyana has damaged long-standing relations with China that will take hard work to revive.
“It will now take years and considerable diplomatic and other scarce resources to repair and rebuild trust with the Chinese after this gigantic diplomatic blunder by the inept PPP regime,” APNU+AFC said in a statement.
After the government announced overnight that it has scrapped the Taiwan Office agreement, the coalition expressed concern that Guyana-China relations have now “become strained as a result of the ineptitude, danger and recklessness of the initial decision.”
The coalition says decades-old strong relations between Guyana and China have been adversely affected by the “gigantic diplomatic blunder by the Irfaan Ali-led administration.”
The APNU+AFC Coalition says Guyana’s foreign policy must continue to be founded on the basis of mutual respect and understanding, non-interference, multilateralism and strong relations with all states.
The coalition urges the PPP to immediately abandon its ill-advised isolationist foreign policy.
Expressing regret at the decision by the PPP-led administration, the coalition says it is keen on restoring and strengthening Guyana-China bilateral relations and working together for mutual benefit.
Word of the now terminated agreement to set up the Taiwan Office in Guyana had come from the United States embassy in Georgetown in a statement welcoming the accord as a step in the right direction.
Guyana earlier Thursday reiterated its commitment to the One China Policy. Before terminating the accord, Guyana had also maintained that position but at the same time had said the Taiwan Office would have facilitated trade and investment.
US and Taiwan are allies. In recent months, top US officials have been visiting Guyana and openly criticising the quality of China’s infrastructural works and illegal and unregulated fishing.