Taipei attempts to shore up Latin American alliances

Taiwan’s President Catherine Tsai visited Guatemala and Belize as part of her government’s effort to prevent more countries switching their allegiance to Beijing after Honduras switched its recognition from Taiwan to China last month. Beijing has been making inroads into the region, which historically has been friendly to Taipei, and is seeking to further erode the list of seven countries in the Americas that still recognize the island democracy.

Despite the attention and efforts to boost imports of key commodities from allies, observers believe that Paraguay could switch allegiance, if the country’s opposition wins the April 30 elections and fulfills its promise to embrace China, as demanded by its agricultural lobby.

While the ruling conservative Colorado Party candidate, Santiago Pena, has vowed to maintain recognition of Taiwan, opposition candidate Efrain Alegre, a centrist lawyer, has promised to cut ties with Taiwan and open relations with China if he wins the presidency.

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