© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A double rainbow is seen behind the Taiwanese flag during National Day celebrations in Taipei
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan on Friday blamed Chinese “harassment” for Guyana’s decision to revoke an agreement for the island to open a representative office in the South American country, saying it had tried unsuccessfully to get Guyana to change its mind. Taiwan had already started initial operations at the office, in fact a de facto embassy, last month. Washington welcomed him and Beijing condemned him, which claims Taiwan as its own territory without the right to establish links between states. The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry said that due to Chinese pressure, Guyana had “unilaterally” decided to withdraw from the deal, and Taiwan expressed deep regret that it was unable to reverse the decision. “We express our strongest dissatisfaction and condemnation of the Chinese government once again intimidating and compressing Taiwan’s international space and Taiwan’s involvement in international affairs,” the ministry said. China’s continued efforts to isolate Taiwan in the international arena run counter to claims by its leaders that it is against bullying and that “no one with thick arms and big fists has the last word,” he added. “The way the Chinese government says one thing and does another will only highlight its evil nature and alienate people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.” China has been gradually reducing the number of countries that still have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan and now only 14 do, almost all developing countries, including Haiti, Nicaragua and little Nauru in the Pacific. The United States has been particularly concerned about China’s efforts to seize Taiwanese allies in Latin America and the Caribbean, a traditional Washington area of influence. In 2018, the United States attacked El Salvador’s decision to ditch diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, saying the change was of great concern to Washington and warning that China was offering economic incentives to seek domination.