Guyana holds a special place in China’s diplomatic history.

Guyana holds a special place in China’s diplomatic history. It opened diplomatic relations with China as far back as 1972, the first country in this region to do so and at a time when China was struggling to break the bonds of isolation. China has always been grateful and developed political relations with the PNC, adding to that which had been historically established with the PPP.

 

Guyana is now not the only country in the region with diplomatic or economic relations with China. But with the discovery or petroleum in which a major, state-owned, Chinese company, CNOOC, has a significant interest, China would have obviously been looking to Guyana to further develop its economic relations. It is poised to do so with the plans and opportunities for infrastructure development and gas-to-shore operations long into the future.

But there is now another, less benign, reason for Guyana’s permanently enhanced visibility on China’s radar – its recent intention, now cancelled, of permitting Taiwan to establish a trade and investment office in Guyana. But the Government is not the only agency that can facilitate the establishment of Taiwan office. Any Taiwanese is free to rent or purchase office space and undertake trade and investment activities. But the Chinese know that the Taiwanese who come to Guyana to work will have to obtain a work permit which can only be issued by the Government and otherwise engage with the Government in numerous ways. Therefore, in whichever way it is conceived, the Government of Guyana has to give its imprimatur on the establishment of business relations with Taiwan.

There is no non-contentious route with China whereby relations with Taiwan can be made possible. Its firm policy toward Taiwan is well known and long established. The danger for Guyana is that China may decide to de-emphasize its relations with Guyana. China is the second largest economic power in the world and can afford to do so. The question is, can Guyana afford to lose China’s friendship?

Apart from the vast economic opportunities Guyana would lose, China has close relations with Venezuela and also has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. If Venezuela takes military steps against Guyana, as some fear, if the ICJ rules in favour of Guyana, Guyana may not be able to count on China not using its veto against any UN resolution condemning Venezuela.

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Guyana Diaspora Online Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

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