Guyana has terminated an agreement with Taiwan to open a representative office in the South American nation after China called the accord a “mistake”.
In a statement, Guyana foreign ministry on Thursday said that the government continues to adhere to the one-China policy, Chinese state media CGTN reported.
The announcement comes hours after Taiwan foreign ministry announced Taiwan is to open a representative office in Guyana.
On January 11, an agreement was inked with the Guyanese Department of Foreign Trade to establish a “Taiwan office,” with the possibility that Guyana would open a reciprocal office in Taiwan, the Taiwan foreign ministry said in a statement.
The South American nation is rich in minerals and oil, while its capital, Georgetown, houses the secretariat headquarters of the Caribbean Community cooperative bloc, the ministry said.
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded to the “agreement,” urging Guyana to “earnestly take steps to correct their mistake.”
There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, said Wang.
“We hope the relevant party will abide by the one-China principle, refrain from any form of official exchanges and establishment of official institutions with Taiwan, take concrete actions to correct the error and eliminate the negative effects,” he added.
Following China’s statement, the Guyanese government terminated the agreement and clarified that it has not established any diplomatic ties or relations with Taiwan
“The government 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,” Guyana’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“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 read.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing.