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GUATEMALA CITY: Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammatei visit the jungle ruins of a Mayan fortress on Saturday (March 1) in front of the giant stone pyramid known as El Gran Jaguar. Observed ancient rituals.

There, the two shook hands and vowed to maintain a strong bond in the face of diplomatic offensives from China, which sees Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification.

Guatemala’s deputy culture minister Jenny Barrios said the assembled dignitaries “today witnessed the strengthening of friendship between our two countries.”

Tsai’s visit to Belize comes days after neighboring Honduras cut diplomatic ties with Taipei and aligned itself with Beijing, which does not recognize both China and Taiwan. Honduran President Siomara Castro is due to visit China soon.

The two presidents walked to the nearby promenade, shook hands for an iconic official photo, and a bonfire was lit during a Mayan dance ceremony. They also witnessed a traditional ball game played during Mayan times.

Tsai, who met with Jama Tei on Friday night, thanked him for his support during China’s military exercises near the island last year.

She also emphasized cooperation with Guatemala, which is one of 13 diplomatic allies in the world, a small country mainly in the Caribbean, Pacific and Latin America.

Speaking to the media with Tsai aside, Jean-Mattei called Taiwan “the one and only true China.”

Some Guatemalans believe their country is missing out on an economic opportunity by choosing Taiwan over mainland China.

Sociologist and political analyst Miguel Angel Sandoval told AFP: “China is a market of more than a billion people, and importing and exporting goods from China would benefit some sectors in Guatemala. let’s,” he said.

On Sunday, Tsai will visit a new hospital built with a $22 million donation from Taipei in the city of Chimaltenango in western Guatemala.

President Tsai will then depart for Belize, where she will meet with Prime Minister John Briceno on Monday before leaving on Tuesday.

On her way home, Tsai will stop in California to meet with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/mayan-ruins-leaders-taiwan-guatemala-reaffirm-ties-3390981 Taiwan and Guatemala leaders reaffirm ties at Mayan ruins

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