Taiwan's Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China

by Abel Hampton May 2, 2018, 3:09
Taiwan's Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China

The establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Dominican Republic, announced in Beijing on Tuesday, has strengthened China's position in Latin America and the Caribbean and weakened Taiwan's in the region.

"On the one hand, she has been stepping up efforts to make Taiwan "less Chinese" and carrying out a policy of "saying no to China while fawning all over the United States and Japan"; and on the other hand, she now demands respect for Taiwan from the mainland and wants to talk 'without any political precondition, '" said an online commentary of the People's Daily, the ruling Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece.

"Establishing diplomatic ties with China means unprecedented huge potential opportunities for the Dominican Republic's development", Wang said.

"Beijing's attempts at foreign policy have only served to drive a wedge between the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, erode mutual trust, and further harm the feelings of the people of Taiwan", said Joseph Wu.

Taiwan criticised what it called China's "dollar diplomacy" and announced it would terminate ties with the Dominican Republic immediately, including all projects and assistance it provides to the Caribbean nation.

Beijing has been seeking to increase pressure on Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen.

The Dominican Republic had been a diplomatic ally for 77 years. He added that relations with other allies were stable and there's no immediate danger to Taiwan's ties with the Vatican.

He said China had offered financial incentives to attract the Dominican Republic's support.

Taiwan previously had ties severed with Sao Tome and Principe in December 2016 and Panama in June 2017 and has failed in bids to participate in regular meetings of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2017.

The state news agency Xinhua reported that Wang told Vargas that the Dominican government's decision "conforms with the trend of the times" and was in the long-term interests of the two countries and their people.

While Taiwan faces serious diplomatic challenges, Wu stressed that the government will not bow to pressure from Beijing.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen is trying to enhance Taiwan's worldwide profile but faces a concerted attempt by Beijing to shrink its space on global platforms.

Last year, in another major blow to Taiwan, Panama switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

The largest number of Taipei's diplomatic partners are located in that area, and the island's allies have now been reduced to just 19 internationally.

Taipei has struggled to compete with an increasingly powerful China.

"However, history and the socioeconomic reality force us now to change direction", he explained.

Espinal said the government informed Taiwan of its move earlier Monday and thanked the Taiwanese for "the cooperation that we have shared for years".

Taiwan's vice president Chen Chien-jen had visited Dominican Republic in August 2016 when he attended the inauguration of president Danilo Medina.

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