In a statement on her Facebook page, Ms Walton Desir said “The PPP/C Administration has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are incompetent to manage Guyana’s foreign policy and our international relations.”
“One day after the people of Guyana learned via tweet from a US Official that Guyana had entered into an Agreement with Taiwan for the opening of a Taiwan Trade Office in Guyana and a pitiful attempt by Foreign Minister Hugh Todd to justify said Agreement, the installed PPP/C regime today announced that it has scrapped the Agreement with Taiwan,” she lamented.
“This latest blunder has not only jeopardized a nearly 50-year friendly relationship between the peoples of Guyana and China, but potentially placed Guyana in peril of sanctions from China, which is the sponsor of several projects and programmes in Guyana and a longstanding trading partner. Hopefully, the damage is not irreparable,” the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
“The immediate resignation of Hugh Todd is fitting penance,” Ms Walton Desir declared.
“Outside of the outrage that Guyanese should feel that once again we have to learn of cataclysmic foreign policy actions by the Government from a third Party, the fact that the Agreement has now been withdrawn confirms what the Coalition has been saying all along- that the PPP/C administration is clueless when it comes to foreign policy and relations and are clearly not in control of Guyana’s foreign policy direction,” she observed.
On Thursday, Reuters News Agency reported that Guyana abruptly terminated an agreement with Taiwan to open an office in the South American country, hours after China urged Georgetown to “correct their mistake.”
Taiwan’s foreign ministry earlier on Thursday said it had signed an agreement with Guyana on Jan. 11 to open a Taiwan office, effectively a de facto embassy for the island that China claims as its sovereign territory with no right to diplomatic ties.
Guyana’s foreign ministry on Thursday afternoon said it was rolling back the agreement and that it continued to adhere to the “One China” policy.
“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,” Guyana’s statement read.
Guyana has traditionally had close ties with China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin had responded to the move by saying Beijing hoped Guyana would not engage in official ties with Taiwan, calling on the country to “earnestly take steps to correct their mistake.”
China’s CNOOC Ltd is part of a consortium with U.S. oil companies Exxon Mobil Corp and Hess Corp that has discovered more than 8 billion barrels of recoverable crude reserves in the Stabroek block off Guyana’s coast, turning the country into a new energy hotspot.
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