Kishida, Paraguay’s President Pena Pledge Cooperation Not to Allow China to Change Status Quo by Force

REUTERS/Cesar Olmedo
Paraguay’s President Santiago Pena meets with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the ‘Palacio de los Lopez’ government palace, in Asuncion, Paraguay May 3, 2024.

ASUNCION — Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held talks with Paraguay’s President Santiago Pena in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion on Friday afternoon and confirmed their intention to cooperate in maintaining and strengthening a free and open international order.

With the backdrop of China’s increasing military pressure on Taiwan, the two leaders shared the recognition that unilateral changes to the status quo by force are unacceptable anywhere in the world.

Paraguay is the only country in South America that maintains diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Kishida’s visit to Paraguay is the first for a Japanese prime minister since late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit in 2018. The latest visit by Kishida aims to coordinate responses in view of China’s hegemonic moves.

“The importance of our relationship with Paraguay, which shares values such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, is increasing amid the complex crises facing the international community,” Kishida stressed in a joint press conference.