With the Government still offering few details on the recently terminated agreement with Taiwan to open an office in Guyana, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has indicated that the move was never approved by the Cabinet.
During a press conference, Mr. Jagdeo said the agreement should have never taken place. Although the matter has grabbed international headlines, the Vice President said it is still to be discussed by the Cabinet.
The agreement was signed on the 11th January but kept a secret until the US Government and the local US Embassy revealed the agreement in a press release last week, praising the move.
Less than 24hrs after the US government announcement and the Foreign Ministry’s acknowledgement of the agreement, the Government announced that the agreement was being terminated. That decision followed a meeting between senior government officials and the Acting Chinese Ambassador.
China described the agreement as a mistake and called on Guyana to correct it. China sees Taiwan as a breakaway province and has always regarded it as part of China.
Guyana has been observing the One-China policy for over four decades and the signing of the agreement with Taiwan to set up a trade office here was seen as an attack on that policy and the strong ties between Guyana and China.
Taiwan is upset that Guyana has cancelled the agreement and claims Guyana’s decision was forced by China’s bullying tactics.
With the Vice President, who is a former President, declaring that Cabinet never approved the major foreign policy shift in the signing of the agreement, it is unclear who provided the all clear for the Foreign Minister to move ahead with the agreement.
It is also unclear why the government kept it a secret for almost a month.