Taiwan's diplomatic ally Belize successfully held parliamentary elections on November 11 local time, with the opposition People's United Party (PUP) emerging victorious. John Briceño, the PUP leader, was elected prime minister and will form a new government. Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said that upon hearing the news, President Tsai Ing-wen directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Taiwan's Belize embassy to convey sincere congratulations to Prime Minister-elect Briceño on his election on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, and also deliver her personal letter of congratulations.
Spokesperson Chang said that Belize praised Taiwan at a recent World Health Assembly (WHA) videoconference for our outstanding work to combat COVID-19 and assist other countries, and also voiced support for Taiwan's participation in the WHA. For this, the government and people of Taiwan are truly grateful. The government of Taiwan is also grateful to Belize for its enduring support for our participation in international organizations and events. The Taiwan-Belize diplomatic friendship began in 1989, when after winning the election in September that year, PUP established diplomatic relations with Taiwan that October, beginning a cooperative partnership that has lasted for 31 years.
Spokesperson Chang noted that in the past, Taiwan and Belize have closely cooperated in many areas including infrastructure, agriculture, public health and medical care, education, culture, and information and communications technology. Last year marked the 30th anniversary of official Taiwan-Belize diplomatic relations, he said, and the two sides opened further cooperation and dialogue in three areas: economics and trade, aviation, and mutual judicial assistance. That led to the signing of an Agreement on Economic Cooperation and an Open Sky Air Services Agreement, as well as a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters this year. We hope the Belize government will develop and prosper, and that both countries will continue to offer mutual support on the international stage and continue to deepen our friendly bilateral ties.