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TAIPEI – Paraguayan President Mario Abdo is scheduled to visit Taiwan next week. Paraguay is looking to strengthen ties with one of its oldest allies ahead of his April elections.

Paraguay is one of 14 countries that have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Chinese government is stepping up efforts to force its remaining allies to abandon Taipei.

Paraguay will cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and open ties with China if the opposition wins the election, said Paraguayan presidential candidate Efrain Alegre, boosting economically important soybean and beef exports. I hope to

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Thursday that Abdo, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Commerce, will visit Taiwan from February 14-18 to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen and attend a briefing on meat promotion and investment opportunities. said to do.

“Taiwan and Paraguay have established diplomatic relations for more than 65 years and have a deep friendship,” the ministry added.

Abdo will not run for president again. Santiago Peña of the ruling Colorado Party said a win on April 30 would leave Paraguay’s relationship with Taiwan intact.

Paraguay’s relationship with Taiwan has come under pressure in recent years, especially from the country’s beef producers and farmers.

China sees Taiwan as a rebellious province that should be reunified by force if necessary.

Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean have traditionally been Taiwan’s diplomatic strongholds, but China is chipping away at those countries, with Nicaragua being the latest to move to Beijing in late 2021.

The issue has taken on broader geopolitical significance amid US concerns about China’s growing influence in the region.Reuters Paraguayan president visits Taiwan ahead of elections that could end ties

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