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ICYMI: Rubio Urges Guatemala to Resist Beijing’s Bullying

Mar 6, 2024 | Press Releases

Guatemala Must Resist Beijing’s Bullying

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

March 6, 2024

RealClear World

“Guatemala,” according to Reuters, “is considering reaching out to develop formal trade ties with China”…. The Chinese Communist Party will do what it always does and attempt to condition trade relations on Guatemala’s denial of Taiwan’s legitimacy….

This is a crucial moment, because Guatemala isn’t just any Latin American country; it’s the most populous country in the world to formally recognize Taiwan. Guatemala is also among the last nations in our region left standing in the wake of China’s unprecedented pressure campaign against democracies in the Western Hemisphere….

Last month, President Arévalo released a statement reaffirming his country’s 89-year-old friendship with Taiwan…. [H]owever, further pressure from China is ongoing and ramping up. Whatever the temptation, Arévalo and [Paraguayan President Santiago] Peña would be wise to withstand it….

For one, economic ties with China are not all they’re cracked up to be…. China’s direct investment in the Western Hemisphere has more than halved since 2019…. Moreover, dozens of regional projects financed by or contracted to Chinese firms…remain unfinished or uninitiated.

Guatemalans should also consider that bending to China’s pressure is a token of submission to Beijing…. By continuing to recognize Taiwan in the face of China’s pressure, Guatemala reaffirms its own dignity and sovereignty. It also keeps Beijing’s brutal totalitarianism and disregard for human rights at bay….

Read the rest here.