Taiwan Could Lose Last Latin-American Ally To Xi Jinping As China Dangles 'Opportunities'

Taiwan is on the verge of losing its only remaining diplomatic South American ally to Beijing if a potential candidate wins in Paraguay’s upcoming presidential election this month. 

What Happened: After losing Honduras to Beijing recently, Taiwan is faced with tough times again as Paraguay’s top opposition candidate has indicated that he could revisit the relationship and switch to China instead.

See Also: Honduras Asked For ‘Billions Of Dollars’ From ‘Friend’ Taiwan Before Long-Time Ally Ditched To Side Xi Jinping

Under the current Paraguayan President, Mario Abdo Benitez, the relationship between the South American nation and Taiwan has remained favorable. During his visit to Taiwan in February this year, Abdo also demonstrated his commitment to the relationship. However, the incumbent president will be leaving office in August at the end of his term. 

The two leading candidates for the presidential position are former Finance Minister Santiago Pena, from Abdo's ruling center-right Colorado Party, and Efrain Alegre, a former public works minister representing a coalition of opposition parties. 

While Pena emphasized the importance of Paraguay’s longstanding relationship with Taiwan, Alegre, on the other hand, said he could sever ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing should he win.

Earlier in an interview, Alegre told Nikkei that he has “critical opinions” on the relationship with Taiwan and that “we need to consider the opportunities that China could give us.”

Why It Matters: Taiwan and Paraguay have maintained diplomatic ties since 1957. Since 2016 after Tsai Ing Wen became the island nation’s president, Xi Jinping has successfully convinced nine of Taiwan’s allies to sever diplomatic ties with Taipei

Read Next: Taiwan To Reportedly Buy 400 Land-Based Missiles To Fend Off Possible Chinese Attack

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Posted In: NewsPoliticsGlobalTop StoriesGeneralChinaChina-Taiwan crisisParaguayXi Jinping
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