ASUNCION – Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes asked Tuesday for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, during a welcoming ceremony for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, on a state visit to the South American country.
For her part, Tsai thanked Cartes for supporting Taiwan in sessions of the UN General Assembly since he took office in 2013.
Taiwan has not belonged to the United Nations since 1971, when China took its seat, but in 1993 launched a campaign to participate in the UN, and more recently in organizations associated with the international body.
The Taiwanese president also spoke during the event about the ties of friendship between Paraguay and Taiwan, and defined them as a door to trade between Mercosur, of which Paraguay is a member, and the Asian market.
She contrasted Paraguay’s abundant natural resources and young work force with Taiwan’s great experience in developing technology as an indication that the two countries advantageously complement one another.
For his part, Cartes expressed his gratitude for Taiwan’s cooperation in matters of education and housing, and particularly for its humanitarian aid during last December’s floods in Paraguay, when more than 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.
Later the two presidents signed a cooperation accord for air transport – with the least possible government interference and regulation – as a stimulus for trade and travel between their countries.
Latin America and the Caribbean are Taiwan’s chief diplomatic bastion in its sovereignty dispute with China, since 12 of the Asian island’s 22 diplomatic allies belong to this region of the world, including Paraguay.