The Central American nation of Belize is a special place in many regards. The country is the region’s only English-speaking nation, a legacy of its centuries as the region’s only British colony. It’s also among the region’s most ethnically diverse countries. Where else on earth could you find indigenous Mayans and African-descended Creoles living alongside German-speaking Mennonites? And there’s another thing that sets Belize apart: it’s one of just 15 countries in the world that has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Belizean students come here to study, and the country maintains an embassy here in Taipei.
Recently, this Belizean community in Taiwan celebrated a big moment: the 40th anniversary of Belizean independence. How did such a diverse and special country come to be? What sort of relationship does this country have with Taiwan? And why, even as some close by countries have set up ties with Beijing instead, do Belize and Taiwan remain such close friends?
With me to answer these questions, I’m honored to welcome Her Excellency, Ambassador Candice Pitts, Belize’s ambassador to Taiwan.