Paraguay’s President Cartes arrives amid tightened security

President Horacio Cartes of Paraguay has begun a three day visit to Taiwan.

Paraguay is one of Taiwan's 20 diplomatic allies and the sole ally in South America. Cartes' visit comes as the two sides mark 60 years of formal diplomatic relations.

The security alert level was raised ahead of Cartes' arrival Tuesday amid rumors that his public appearances could be marred by protests. Media reports suggested retired police officers and military personnel could turn out to protest the government's pension reforms.

On Tuesday, Presidential Office spokesperson Sidney Lin said security services were aware of plans for potentially violent protests, including plans timed to coincide with Cartes' visit. Lin said Taiwan is a democratic society that allows freedom of expression. However, he urged protesters to express their demands in a peaceful manner and refrain from violence.

Source: Radio Taiwan International