Chinese FM hopes new Guatemalan govt makes decisions in its best natl interests
Published: Aug 21, 2023 11:13 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed wishes for the new Guatemalan government to make the right call in line with the fundamental and long-term interests of its country and people in response to the result of the Central American country's presidential election.

When asked if China will further boost relations with Guatemala after preliminary results showed its anti-corruption crusader Bernardo Arevalo was voted in as president on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday that he won't comment on it as Guatemala's presidential election is its internal affair, but emphasized that establishing diplomatic ties with China is the right choice that accords with the trend of history and our times.

Lately, people from various sectors in Guatemala have expressed in interviews their hope for Guatemala to establish diplomatic ties with China soon, which fully indicates that developing relations with China is what serves the fundamental interests of Guatemala and what the Guatemalan people want, Wang said.

Guatemala is one of the remaining 13 countries that still have so-called diplomatic ties with the Taiwan region, and Arevalo, who had a 58 percent to 37 percent lead over former first lady Sandra Torres with 99 percent of votes counted, said earlier he would pursue closer relations with China if he wins.

"We need to work on our trade relations and expand them in the case of China," Arevalo, a 64-year-old ex-diplomat and son of a former president said in an interview with the Con Criterio radio program in June, Reuters reported. Arevalo stressed the need for a foreign policy based on Guatemala's interests. "Let's be the owners of our foreign policy," said Arevalo.

Guatemala's neighboring nation Honduras established diplomatic relations with China in late March, becoming the ninth country to sever so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan island since regional leader Tsai Ing-wen took office. Tsai made a visit to Guatemala in early April after Honduras shift, and signed a $4 million agreement to modernize rural areas and promised to promote and increase cooperation, Reuters reported. 

Jiang Shixue, a professor at the Center for Latin American Studies at Shanghai University, told the Global Times on Monday that it's very likely that China and Guatemala can establish diplomatic relations after Arevalo, who tended to be friendly to China and may implement a pro-China foreign policy, was elected as president.