TAIPEI – Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu is set to leave for a Central American tour to boost the island’s diplomatic ties with the region at a time of growing tension with China.
Wu is scheduled to visit El Salvador and Belize as part of his tour, which would begin Thursday and conclude on July 17.
During his trip he would be meeting with top leaders of the two countries and convey the importance and emphasis that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen puts on bilateral ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday in a press release.
During his visit to El Salvador from July 12-15, Wu would meet with President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, and other top officials, and discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations and future cooperation plans.
He would also deliver a letter from Tsai to Ceren on July 14, congratulating Salvadorans on the upcoming canonization of Archbishop Oscar Romero in Rome.
From July 16-17, Wu would visit Belize and meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Senate President Lee Mark Chang, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Ellington among other leaders.
Since Tsai, belonging to the independent Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016, relations with China have been strained.
Beijing, which insists on the One China principle, had lured away four of Taiwan’s allies: Sao Tome and Principe, Panama, Dominican Republic and Burkina Faso.
Taiwan has diplomatic ties with only 18 countries, 10 of which are in Latin America and the Caribbean, six in the South Pacific, one in Africa and the Vatican in Europe.