TAIPEI – Taiwan’s bilateral ties with its 12 Latin American and Caribbean allies are strong and stable and joint projects will be unaffected by a change in government, said Director-general of the foreign ministry’s Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs, Miguel Tsao.
Leaders from all of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in Latin America and the Caribbean sent congratulatory messages to the island’s president-elect Tsai Ing-wen, from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, for her victory, Tsao told EFE.
He reiterated relations will not be affected adversely due to a change of administration, recalling Foreign Minister David Lin had promised Latin American and Caribbean ambassadors that cooperation projects will continue even after Tsai took power.
Tsai is scheduled to be sworn-in on May 20 this year and will replace current President Ma Ying-jeou, of the Kuomintang party.
In elections held Jan. 16, she defeated ruling party candidate Eric Chu, while her party secured an absolute majority in the Parliament for the first time in history.
According to official figures, Tsai received congratulatory messages from a total of 45 countries, including the United States, Japan, United Kingdom and several EU members.
During the elections, Tsai had criticized Taiwan’s current policy of accepting the “1992 Consensus” (one China, two systems) as well as the unilateral diplomatic truce with Beijing, but also pledged to maintain peace and stability in the Formosa straits besides maintaining ties with its allies.
Meanwhile, some academics and political commentators have expressed fears China might try to wrench away allies from Taiwan once Tsai assumes power.
Latin America and the Caribbean, home to 12 of the 22 diplomatic allies that Taiwan has worldwide, is a stronghold of the island’s diplomacy.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory, insists any country wishing to maintain diplomatic relations with China has to first break such relations with Taiwan.