The Irfaan Ali led Cabinet did not approve the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ decision to authorize the establishment of a Taiwan trade and investment office in Guyana. According to Vice-President, Bharrat Jagdeo, the question of having the office here was never even taken for Cabinet’s approval.
Jagdeo told the media this at a press conference he held yesterday.
Last week, America revealed that Guyana decided to form investment ties with Taiwan and that an agreement was signed. Questions were immediately asked about Guyana’s possible abandonment of the One China Policy. Just hours after the revelation was made, Guyana terminated the contract.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the sudden termination was due to “miscommunication.”
A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) soon issued a statement claiming that the government’s decision “underscores the PPP’s unlearned, irresponsible and perilous approach to Guyana’s foreign policy.”
The opposition claimed that “The damage however has been done. Decades-old strong relations between Guyana and China have become strained in under 6 months of the PPP regime’s installation in office.”
Yesterday, when asked about whether there was any bruising of the relationship between Guyana and China, Jagdeo’s only response was, “Guyana will continue to adhere to the One China policy.” He said nothing about whether the move has caused any damage to the relationship between Guyana and China.”
It was only after he was pressed on the issue that the Vice President noted that the decision was not one that had the blessing of the Cabinet. Jagdeo even said, “I agree, it should not have happened.”
However, Jagdeo could not have answered questions about the government’s course of action in dealing with persons who went ahead with making such a major move that could put Guyana’s relationship with one of its longest allies in jeopardy.