El Salvador, Taiwan break ties as China isolates island foe

by Abel Hampton August 24, 2018, 14:07
El Salvador, Taiwan break ties as China isolates island foe

Taiwan vowed on Tuesday to fight China's "increasingly out of control" behaviour after Taipei lost another ally to Beijing when El Salvador became the third country to switch allegiances to China this year.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that his government had established ties with El Salvador.

In the document signed between the foreign ministers of both countries, El Salvador has chosen to recognise that there is only one China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory.

There may have been economic incentives for the Central American nation to switch to Beijing, according to South Korean newspaper Seoul Shinmun.

In a big setback to Taiwan-El Salvador relations, El Salvador has suspended all dolomitic ties with the self-governed island. "It is irresponsible to engage in financial aid diplomacy or compete with China in cash, or even in providing illegal political money".

El Salvador's decision comes amid a drive by Beijing to cut off diplomatic support for Taiwan. "It is a challenge to our common bottom line when diplomatic ties in the name of the Republic of China (Taiwan) are being damaged", Tsai said.

China is willing to join hands with El Salvador to achieve their joint development, press ahead with China-Latin America cooperation as a whole, and contribute to the collective rejuvenation of the developing countries.

In the past year Burkina Faso and the Dominican joined China's side, and in previous years Panama and the tiny African state of Sao Tome have also done the same.

A growing number of global airlines and companies were also forced to change Taiwan's name to "Taiwan, China" or "Chinese Taipei" due to pressure from Beijing.

Sanchez Ceren said the central American country, which built ties with the Republic of China government in 1933, would see "great benefits" and "extraordinary opportunities" in the new relationship with Beijing.

Now, only 17 countries officially recognize the Republic of China, majority impoverished states in Latin America or the Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, Tsai's office stressed that the president was fully aware of El Salvador's decision to sever ties, refuting the rumor that she was kept in the dark until the last minute.

Tsai urged the island's people to unite despite the pressure the government was facing diplomatically. "We in Taiwan will continue to move forward".

"China will not get unification with Taiwan by luring away our allies".

China, which claims Taiwan as its territory, has ramped up military and diplomatic pressure in an attempt to assert Chinese sovereignty over the island, even as the US government makes fresh overtures to it.

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, right, and Medardo Gonzalez, a Salvadoran politician, Secretary General of the ruling party of El Salvador, meet at the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound in Beijing Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. She says she wants to maintain the status quo but will defend Taiwan's democracy.

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