SANTO DOMINGO – The president of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPPAL), Manolo Pichardo, said on Tuesday that establishing diplomatic relations with China should be a priority for the Dominican government.
Pichardo argued that “because, in the context of geopolitical shifts, the Asian giant becomes a key player in trade relations and development opportunities.”
Pichardo, who is also the leader of the ruling Dominican Liberation Party (PLD), considered that diplomacy nowadays must go beyond the “wine glass” and “ceremonial events” which lack economic or commercial significance.
In this regard, he warned in a statement that “gift-basket diplomacy does not fit into a world with complex trade-off of competition to open tariff doors.”
He explained that the United States, being China’s rival and Taiwan’s protector, understood decades ago that the Asian giant was heading towards growth and development difficult to ignore, which is the reason why the US reestablished diplomatic relations with the communist country that “within three decades went from being one of the world’s poorest countries to the world’s second biggest economy.”
He argued that more than 120 million Chinese leave the country every year to travel the world, which would open an opportunity for the Dominican Republic to benefit from tourism and will allow the government to reach the goal of receiving 10 million tourists a year, as well as attracting investment and technology.
“I think we should thank Taiwan for the old friendly relationship, but the country cannot live while turning its back to the reality that the Taiwanese themselves have been admitting,” he said a day after Panama announced it took up diplomatic relations with China over Taiwan.