Paraguay–Taiwan relations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Taiwanese–Paraguayan relations
Map indicating locations of Paraguay and Taiwan


Consulate-General of Taiwan in Ciudad del Este

Paraguay–Taiwan relations, also known as Sino–Paraguayan relations or Paraguayan–Taiwanese relations are foreign relations between the Republic of Paraguay and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Both governments established diplomatic relations on 8 July 1957.

Paraguay conforms to the One-China policy and is one of the 12 countries in the world (and the only one in South America) that recognized the ROC as the sole legitimate government of "China". Paraguay has had an embassy in Taipei since 1999.[1] Taiwan has an Embassy in Asunción and a Consulate-General in Ciudad del Este.[2]

The two are antipodes of each other. The ROC is also the second state in Asia (after Japan) to have diplomatic relations with Paraguay. In public media, the relationship between the two countries has been described as a historic friendship.[3] Paraguay's and Taiwan's relationship endured principally because of millions of donations and loans, this method of relationship, however, fell into discredit of suspicious corruption, being criticized those who are in charge of today's government.[4]


Former Paraguay President Horacio Cartes and ROC President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei.

The governments of Paraguay and the Republic of China established diplomatic relations on July 8, 1957, as the sole legal government of China. Over the following decades, the two governments signed the Cultural Convention (1961), Treaty of Friendship (1968), and Conventions of Tourism and Investments (1975).[5] [6] When Paraguay and Taiwan began relations, Alfredo Stroessner ordered the construction of a statue of Taiwanese leader Chiang Kai-Shek as a showing of friendship.[4]

The partnership between the anti-communist governments of General Alfredo Stroessner and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek was quite natural. Many Paraguayan officers went for training in Fu Hsing Kang College in Taiwan.[7]

The ouster of Stroessner in 1989, and his successor Andrés Rodríguez's reinventing himself as a democratically elected president, were immediately followed by invitations from the People's Republic of China to switch diplomatic recognition.[8] However, the experienced general and politician Wang Sheng who happened to serve as Taiwan's ambassador at the time, and his diplomatic staff, were able to convince the Paraguayans that continuing the relationship with ROC, and thus keeping Taiwan's development assistance and access to Taiwan's markets, would be more advantageous for Paraguay. As the ROC Commercial Attaché at Asunción, Tseng Cheng-te, explained later, "I tried constantly to figure out what we could buy from them. It was very difficult, because they have nothing to offer".[8]


Taiwan (ROC) provided assistance to Paraguay on a number of economic development projects throughout the 1990s,[6] and has extended large loans to Paraguay; as of early 2009, Taiwan's government was offering payment deferral on a $400 million outstanding loan.[9]

The bilateral relationship has been increasingly affected by China's economic growth and its rigid approach to the One China Policy. The People's Republic of China is a major buyer of Paraguay's major exports, especially soy and beef. It has also made large investments in those sectors, directly affecting the Paraguayan economy. This has led to increasingly prominent debates within Paraguay over recognition policy. "While commercial ties increase, China may be gaining other forms of leverage over Paraguay; pro-China rumblings surfaced in late 2019 largely from meat producers whose market can be curtailed through phytosanitary regulations."[10]


Paraguay's UN General Assembly sessions for the return of the Republic of China into the United Nations' Organization.[11] However, in the fall of 2008, the recently elected Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo (whose inauguration, just a few days previously, had been attended by Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou[12]) announced that his country would not do so at the 63rd annuals session of the General Assembly.[13]


In 2010, when Paraguay president Fernando Lugo planned to establish diplomatic relations with China, it meant that it had to break with Taiwan.[4] Lugo already commented in 2008 that existed an intense commercial relation, even without a China Embassy in Paraguay.[4] In 2010, this though lead to China not wishing to recognize Paraguay's relationship with Taiwan and leaving Paraguay to choose between one of the two countries.[4]

Under President Mario Abdo Benítez, in office since August 2018, Paraguay has emphasized a pro-Taiwan policy while also seeking commercial opportunities with the PRC. "He has emphasized a desire to expand commercial relations with PRC, 'always respecting our historic friendship with Taiwan'."[10][14]

In 2018, Paraguay was the last South American country that still recognised Taiwan.[15]


In May 2021, Paraguay was one of 15 countries that maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan.[16]

In the 2020s Taiwan helped Paraguay set up an artificial breeding operation for pacu.[17]

In January 2023, Efrain Alegre, presidential candidate for the 2023 Paraguayan general election, told Reuters that in case he wins the election in April, Paraguay would cut Taiwan ties and open relations with China, hoping to boost Paraguay's soy and beef exports.[18] Incumbent Santiago Peña won by a comfortable margin, reassuring the Taiwanese that their ongoing bilateral relations were not imperiled.[19]

Free Trade Agreement[edit]

In 2004, Taiwan and Paraguay attempted to negotiate a free trade agreement,[20] but having to obtain approval from Paraguay's MERCOSUR's partners (none of which has diplomatic relations with Taiwan) made the process difficult.[12][21] Since 27 February 2018, the free trade agreement has entered into effect.[22]

Contestation within Paraguay[edit]

In recent years, the bilateral relationship has been the subject of growing contention in Paraguay. Long and Urdinez note that the PRC's growth increased Paraguay's opportunity costs, especially in the form of lost loans and investments from mainland China during the commodities boom. However, Taiwan continued to enjoy support from many Paraguayan policymakers. In response to arguments that recognizing the People's Republic was economically necessary, "Key Paraguayan elites have proactively pushed back against the idea that a change in recognition is inevitable or beneficial."[23] On April 17, 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of Paraguayan senators advanced a bill to urge the president to shift Paraguay's recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing. The proposal was defeated 25–16. Proponents argued that the PRC would provide greater medical aid to Paraguay, something the ROC contested by increasing its own provision of assistance after declaring that they would suspend relations between the countries.[24] The vote followed growing political pressure within Paraguay, especially from ranchers seeking greater access to the Chinese market for their beef exports.[25]

High level visits[edit]

Visits from  Paraguay (after 1987/01)[edit]

Heads of State Name(Date of Visit) Notes
President of Paraguay
President Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti(1990/05)
President Luis Ángel González Macchi(1999/09, 2002/08)
President Óscar Nicanor Duarte Frutos(2004/05, 2007/10)
President Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez(2011/03, 2012/05)
President Federico Franco(2013/05)
President Horacio Manuel Cartes Jara(2014/10, 2016/05)
President of the Senate of Paraguay /
President of the Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay
President of Deputies of Paraguay 丁尼斯(1988/06)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay 艾吉諾(1988/06)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay José Antonio Moreno Ruffinelli(1993/04)
President of Chamber of Senators of Paraguay Miguel Abdon Saguler(1997/01)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Efraín Alegre(1999/08)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Candido Vera Bejarano(2001/01)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Juan Roque Galeano Villalba(2002/03)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Juan Dario Monges Espinola(2002/03)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Oscar Gonzalez Daher(2003/03)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Benjamin Maciel Pasotti(2003/11)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Carlos Mateo Balmelli(2004/02)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Óscar Rubén Salomón(2005/01)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Miguel Carrizosa Galiano(2005/01)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Carlos Alberto Filizzola Pallarés(2006/01)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Víctor Alcides Bogado González(2006/03, 2007/01, 2010/11, 2012/02, 2013/01, 2013/05)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Enrique Gonzalez Quintana(2009/01)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Enrique Salyn Buzarquis Cáceres(2009/02)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay César Ariel Oviedo Verdún(2010/03)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Julio César Velázquez Tillería(2014/01)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Juan Bartolomé Ramírez(2014/02)
President of Chamber of Deputies of Paraguay Hugo Velázquez Moreno(2014/11, 2015/09)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Mario Abdo Benítez(2016/01)
President of Chamber of Senatorsof Paraguay Roberto Acevedo Quevedo(2017/05)

Visits from  Republic of China (after 1987/01)[edit]

Head of State Name (Date of visit) Notes
President of the Republic of China
President Lee Teng-hui (September 1997)
President Chen Shui-bian (May 2001, May 2006)
President Ma Ying-jeou (August 2008, August 2013)
President Tsai Ing-wen (June 2016, August 2018)
President of the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China
Premier Yu Kuo-hwa (August 1988)
President of Control Yuan of the Republic of China
President of Control Yuan Chen Li-an (August 1993)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Paraguay opens first Asian embassy in Taiwan, Summary of World Broadcasts: Asia, Pacific, Issues 3641-3653, British Broadcasting Corporation, 1999, page D-10
  2. ^ "Taiwanese Consulate General in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay". Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Paraguay: Repensando las relaciones con China".
  4. ^ a b c d e "Paraguay planea establecer relaciones diplomáticas con China". 19 February 2010.
  5. ^ Relaciones de la República de China (Taiwán) y la República del Paraguay Archived 2011-07-16 at the Wayback Machine (Relations of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of Paraguay) (At the official site of the R.O.C. Embassy in Paraguay) (in Spanish)
  6. ^ a b DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS WITH THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (TAIWAN)>BILATERAL AGREEMENTS Archived 2017-07-14 at the Wayback Machine (Embassy of Paraguay in the Republic of China)
  7. ^ Marks, Thomas A., Counterrevolution in China: Wang Sheng and the Kuomintang, Frank Cass (London: 1998), ISBN 0-7146-4700-4. Partial view on Google Books. pp 289. 293.
  8. ^ a b Marks, p. 301
  9. ^ Taiwan to allow Paraguay to defer loan payments: minister "The China Post", March 9, 2009
  10. ^ a b Long, Tom; Urdinez, Francisco (2021). "Status at the Margins: Why Paraguay Recognizes Taiwan and Shuns China". Foreign Policy Analysis. 17. doi:10.1093/fpa/oraa002. ISSN 1743-8586.
  11. ^ Taiwan's UN Campaign: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expresses its heartfelt gratitude and sincere respect to Taiwan's three diplomatic allies for speaking in favor of Taiwan in the UN General Debate
  12. ^ a b "Taiwan-China balancing act in Latin America" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Taiwan denies ties with Paraguay are shaky". Asia-Pacific News. September 2, 2008.
  14. ^ "ARP irá en busca de abrir lazos con China". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  15. ^ "Taiwan's long relationship with Paraguay continues to pay off". The Economist. 19 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Why Does Paraguay Recognize Taiwan and Shun China?". June 2021.
  17. ^ Chen, Kelvin. "Taiwan helps Paraguay restore native fish species population". Taiwan News. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  18. ^ "Paraguay election race puts Taiwan ties on a knife-edge |". Reuters. Retrieved 2023-02-01.
  19. ^ "Paraguay's Taiwan ties safe as ruling party retains presidency". The Guardian. 2023-05-01. Retrieved 2023-05-01.
  20. ^ Melody Chen (7 July 2004). "MOEA set to negotiate FTA with Paraguay". Taipei Times.
  21. ^ Jessie Ho (15 February 2005). "Paraguayan FTA safe: government". Taipei Times.
  22. ^ "Taiwan, Paraguay cut tariffs as bilateral economic accord takes effect - Focus Taiwan". (in Chinese). Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  23. ^ Long, Tom; Urdinez, Francisco (2020-04-26). "Status at the Margins: Why Paraguay Recognizes Taiwan and Shuns China". Foreign Policy Analysis. 17: oraa002. doi:10.1093/fpa/oraa002. ISSN 1743-8586.
  24. ^ "Senado rechazó establecer relaciones con China Popular - Nacionales - ABC Color". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  25. ^ "Ganaderos paraguayos piden al Gobierno la apertura de las relaciones con China". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2020-04-29.

External links[edit]