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RETENTION OF PRODUCTS IN THE PORTS OF THE POPULAR REPUBLIC OF CHINA

China Reproaches Guatemala for Its Relationship with Taiwan, Following Complaint of Coffee Import Blockade


China Guatemala flag


In a context of diplomatic tensions, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reproached Guatemala for its relations with the autonomous island of Taiwan. This statement comes a day after the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport) claimed that Beijing force a retention of products and the entry of coffee and macadamia shipments from Guatemala.


On Thursday, Agexport reported that clients and operators in mainland China had informed Guatemalan producers and exporters that "shipments from Guatemala will be held at the ports of the Asian country." However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, when asked by AFP, said he was "not aware of the situation" mentioned but criticized Guatemala for maintaining diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebellious territory.


Wang Wenbin emphasized that recent actions by the Guatemalan government, such as a video call between President Bernardo Arévalo and the Taiwanese leader. He said Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martnez's attendance at the inauguration ceremony of the new Taiwanese president, Lai Ching-te, violated the one China principle. According to the spokesperson, these actions do not favor cooperation between Guatemala and China, including the export of Guatemalan products.


China Port

Guatemala is one of the few Central American countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan, which has created friction with Beijing. China, under the "one China" principle, considers Taiwan a rebellious province that must be reunified, even by force if necessary. In response to the inauguration of the new Taiwanese leader, considered "a dangerous separatist" by Beijing, the Chinese military conducted significant military exercises around the island.


Despite these tensions, Guatemala maintains commercial relations with mainland China. President Arévalo has expressed his desire to strengthen these trade ties. The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that it is carrying out "pertinent procedures and consultations" to find a quick solution for affected producers and exporters.


Guatemala Coffe Export

In 2023, China exported products worth approximately 5.58 billion dollars to Guatemala, including machinery, vehicles, electronics, and raw materials. On the other hand, Guatemalan exports to China totaled 82 million dollars, with notable products including coffee, nickel, iron, steel, macadamia, copper, clothing, precious metals, aluminum, and wood.


This scenario highlights the delicate diplomatic and economic situation between Guatemala and China, and the need to carefully manage international relations to avoid negative repercussions on the country's trade and economy.


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