Dominican Republic breaks diplomatic ties with Taiwan over China

01 May, 2018, 09:23 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Taiwanese cadets march during a ceremony to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Whampoa Military Academy in Kaohsiung southern Taiwan

Despite Taiwan's status as an independently functioning democracy, Beijing forces the worldwide community to establish diplomatic ties with either the People's Republic of China or Taiwan (formally known as the Republic of China), under the "One China" principle, which insists Taiwan is part of China.

Taiwan's foreign minister Joseph Wu accused Beijing of buying countries' allegiance with dollar-diplomacy, but that such a strategy will only further disaffect the island's population from the mainland.

The Taiwan official said the Dominican Republic move was not unexpected.

"We strongly condemn China's objectionable decision to use dollar diplomacy to convert Taiwan's diplomatic allies", the ministry writes. The money will mainly apply to infrastructure projects in the Dominican Republic, including constructions of affordable housing, freeways, railways, harbors, and power plants.

Some analysts say Chinese President Xi Jinping, one of the most powerful Chinese leaders in decades, seems determined to bring Taiwan under Beijing's control during his time in office, something that would place him in the history books alongside Mao Zedong.

"While Taiwan faces serious diplomatic challenges, the government will not bow to the pressure from Beijing", emphasized Wu at the news conference.

China has yet to secure the jewel in Taiwan's diplomatic crown, Vatican City, despite reports of "relentless" attempt to improve relations on behalf of Taiwan's foreign ministry.

"We've always known things were not looking rosy here", the official said.

The agreement was signed early on Tuesday in Beijing by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Dominican Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas. "We highly appreciate this".

"Of course we know that now we're establishing diplomatic relations, the growth potential of our trade links is enormous", presidential legal adviser Flavio Dario Espinal said.

"The two governments agree to develop friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence", the communique said.

"In the following months and years, enormous opportunities for cooperation will gradually open up, not only in the commercial area, but also in the financial, technological, tourist, educational or energy fields", he said.

"History and socioeconomics reality now force us to change course", he said.

The move reduces to 19 the number of countries that recognize the government in Taipei, rather than Beijing - the latest success in China's effort to squeeze Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

Neither Wang, nor Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas Maldonado, who stood by his side at the Beijing news conference, took questions from reporters.

"The Government of the Dominican Republic recognizes that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory", the statement said.



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