The government of El Salvador has told the United States that it must respect their decisions on foreign policy after the U.S. recalled its ambassador in response to a decision by Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to open diplomatic relations with China.
“We respect the decision of each and every one on their diplomatic relations. And just as we respect these decisions, we ask respect for our decisions,” the president’s Secretary of Communications Roberto Lorenzana said Monday.
Recalling the U.S. ambassador was not the only retaliatory action taken by president Donald Trump’s administration. The U.S. also canceled a meeting with Central America’s Nothern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) to discuss cooperation on security and development to reduce illegal immigration.
China’s Foreign Ministry also issued a statement saying that the U.S. decision to recall their ambassadors in Panama, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador over the Central American countries’ decision to sever diplomatic relations with Taiwan and establish them with China was “irresponsible.”
"We ask the U.S. to act with prudence in the matter of Taiwan instead of acting irresponsibly. That way they will avoid damaging their own image, peace, and stability,” Geng Shuang, spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry said Monday.
“We have done nothing else than make a decision the government of the U.S. made 40 years ago. Our decision to open relations with China was made under the same conditions,” Lorenzana said.
The U.S. has increasingly regarded improving China-Latin American relations as a threat to its economic and militaristic interests in the region, but Latin American economies see China as an option for economic growth and a source of foreign investment.