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Paraguay leader meets Xi at Latin American forum

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) yesterday confirmed that the president of Taiwan's Central American ally Paraguay recently participated in a Latin American forum in which Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) also took part.

President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay participated in a forum that was joined by Xi and the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) and South American countries held earlier this month, Minister Lin told local media yesterday.

“The ally had informed us of the visit beforehand. The Paraguay side also briefed us on President Cartes' trip to the forum afterward,” Lin told local media yesterday.

According to Lin, President Cartes previously consulted with Taiwanese Ambassador Jose Maria Liu (劉德立) before his scheduled trip.

The president stressed that participating in the forum in which he could meet the Chinese leader would not harm his country's official diplomatic ties with the R.O.C, Lin noted.

Downplaying the significance of the meeting, the foreign minister said the forum was focusing on economic cooperation instead of politics.

“The forum centers on economic issues that are beneficial to the whole Latin American region,” Lin said.

The Paraguay leader also stressed that he had no private meeting with Xi and they only met publicly during the forum, the minister said.

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