Taiwan loses El Salvador to China

Frederick Owens
August 23, 2018

Refuting the dollar diplomacy charge, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said El Salvador's move is a "political judgement and decision" rather than a "bargaining chip".

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

The communique said that the El Salvador government severs "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes not to have any more official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan.

Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu accused El Salvador of demanding money from Taiwan for an "unfeasible port development", which Taiwan had refused.

"Breaking off diplomatic ties is not an individual incident - it is part of China's series of verbal attacks and threats by force", Tsai said.

Castaneda said that forging diplomatic ties with the People's Republic of China is a strategic decision made by El Salvador and a historic event for the country. Only 17 nations now recognise Taiwan diplomatically.

In a big setback to Taiwan-El Salvador relations, El Salvador has suspended all dolomitic ties with the self-governed island.

Thus the timing of El Salvador's sudden decision to defect to rival Beijing must be humiliating for Tsai, who visited the Central American nation in January 2017. It is also a fundamental basis for China to establish and to develop ties with any other country, Wang said.

"The People's Republic of China and the Republic of El Salvador, in keeping with the interests and desire of the two peoples, have chose to recognize each other and establish diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level effective from the date of signature of this communique".

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El Salvador's decision to officially cut ties with Taiwan came only two days after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen wrapped up her high-profile stopover in the USA city of Houston.

"Pressure from China would only make Taiwan more determined to continue our path of democracy and freedom", he said.

1949: the nationalist government of the Republic of China flees to Taiwan in the face of Mao Zedong's Communist army. The Government of the People's Republic of China appreciates this position of the Government of the Republic of El Salvador.

The Chinese government has been working to severely limit Taiwan's worldwide space since Tsai, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, came to power.

The Chinese military has increased drills around the island while Beijing has repeatedly warned Washington over growing closeness with Taipei under US President Donald Trump.

Speaking in Taipei, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan would not bow to pressure, describing El Salvador's decision as further evidence of China's efforts to squeeze the island, which have included regular Chinese bomber patrols around Taiwan.

Now amid the China-Taiwan dispute, Taiwan does not have a lot of allies left on its side.

Tsai's refusal to accept this agreement, which was undertaken by representative of the opposition Kuomintang party, reflects her Democratic Progressive Party's desire to maintain the status quo when it comes to relations between Beijing and Taipei.

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