Taiwan's Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China

Taiwan's Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China

Taiwan's Diplomatic Isolation Increases as Dominican Republic Recognizes China

However, warming relations between the Holy See and China have the pro-independence government in Taipei anxious that the Vatican may also reconsider its diplomatic relations.

In March US President Donald Trump signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which calls for higher-level visits between US and Taiwanese officials, despite protests from Beijing. Tsai has been more cautious toward China. Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs took aim at China's spending in its statement this morning (May 1) on the Dominican Republic's decision.

The Dominican Republic's decision leaves Taiwan with only 19 diplomatic allies in the world.

Espinal said that even without formal diplomatic relations with China, trade between the two countries "has grown year after year to the point that today China is the second biggest supplier of our imports".

"It was a cost that Taiwan could not match", the official said.

With this the number of countries that maintain full diplomatic ties with Taiwan has now been reduced to 19, which are mainly small, developing countries, 10 of whom are in Latin America.

Eighteen countries and the Vatican still recognize Taiwan.

The new diplomatic partners praised the economic significance of the agreement.

Taiwan's presidential office said that despite the severe challenges, the government would not bow its head in pressure to Beijing, and vowed to do all it could to protect Taiwan's interests.

The Dominican Republic severed ties with Taiwan this week, ostensibly in exchange for a $3 billion investment package from China, according to Reuters.

"We shouldn't lose sight of the fact that China can be a bully, but they also have their legal channels as well to make the point about their claims to sovereignty over this island", he said.

Taiwan will also halt all bilateral cooperative projects, cut all assistance to the Dominican Republic, and pull out its diplomatic staff and technical missions from the country that has had ties with the Republic of China for 77 years, Wu said.

The Chinese foreign minister said the formation of ties offers unprecedented opportunities for the development of the Dominican Republic.

"This latest development is proof, yet again, that Taiwan needs to focus its energies developing solid and multifaceted ties with unofficial diplomatic allies", said J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based senior fellow at the University of Nottingham's China Policy Institute.

The move by the Dominican Republic comes after regional neighbour, Panama, ended its own long-standing relationship with Taiwan a year ago in a major diplomatic victory for Beijing.

"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.

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