Dominican Republic forges diplomatic ties with China

02 May, 2018, 01:57 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Taiwanese cadets march during a ceremony to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Whampoa Military Academy in Kaohsiung southern Taiwan

The Caribbean state announced late on April 30 that it has established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and cut off ties with Taiwan.

A foreign ministry source in Taipei told Reuters that China offered $3.1 billion in aid and investment projects, an offer Taiwan could not match.

Wu said the ministry "strongly condemns China's objectionable decision to use dollar diplomacy to convert Taiwan's diplomatic allies" and accused Beijing of failing to honour its promises to those countries it had wooed away.

Flavio Dario Espinal, legal consultant to the Dominican presidential office, said at a news conference that the change in foreign policy was based on the "needs, potential and future prospects" of his Caribbean nation.

Only 19 countries have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, majority small island states or in Central and South America - regions that in the past had limited economic ties with China.

Taiwan has said that it is "deeply upset" by the Caribbean nation's decision, which deepens its diplomatic isolation.

Mainland China and Taiwan split after a civil war in 1949 and while Taiwan sees itself as a sovereign nation, it has never formally declared independence.

The rock star politician says he doesn't want to fight China, but the communist country should realize that building a better Taiwan is the Taiwanese people's business, not China's. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media.

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China and Taiwan have competed to entice each other's allies over the years, often offering generous aid packages to developing nations.

Taiwan is regularly shut out of influential forums as organisers come under pressure from Beijing not to recognise the island as a valid participant.

The ministry started worrying about the possibility of losing the Dominican Republic as an ally when it learned of the first meeting, a sentiment that was compounded by then-minister of foreign affairs David Lee's (李大維) failure to secure a meeting with his Dominican Republic counterpart and a high-level aide to Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina when he visited the Caribbean nation in July a year ago.

Establishing diplomatic ties with China brings the Dominican Republic great opportunities and will benefit the people of DR, the state-run Xinhua quoted Wang as saying. Costa Rica switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2007.

Without the Dominican Republic, there are only 19 remaining countries that have diplomatic relations with Taiwan, notably Guatemala, Burkino Faso, and Haiti.

While that effort eased during the 2008-16 presidency of Ma Ying-jeou, who favored closer relations with China, it resumed with the election of his successor, Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan is now left with only 19 diplomatic allies.

"Today's event will create a stream of diplomatic switching from Taipei in a matter of months, if not in years", Richard W. Hu, a professor of politics at the University of Hong Kong, said in an email.

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