Tags: China | Taiwan | splits | Sao Tome and Principe

China Cheers as Taiwan Splits With One of Few Remaining Friends

China Cheers as Taiwan Splits With One of Few Remaining Friends

 Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (AP)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016 09:28 PM

China welcomed Taiwan’s split with the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, leaving Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen with just 21 diplomatic partners.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the falling out in a statement Wednesday, praising Sao Tome and Principe’s move toward the view that both sides are part of “One China,” with Beijing as its capital. Soon after, Taiwan’s Central News Agency said in a report citing an unnamed foreign affairs official that Taipei severed ties after refusing the African nation’s request greater financial aid.

The change leaves Taiwan, or the Republic of China as it is formally known, with a handful of countries that recognize it diplomatically, including Panama and the Vatican. It’s also a blow for Tsai, who has been attempting to raise Taiwan’s profile and expand trade ties beyond China, which accounts for 40 percent of its exports. Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party have resisted Beijing’s urging to voice support for the one-nation concept.

Sao Tome and Principe consists of two archipelagos that lie within 200 miles (320 kilometers) off the northwestern coast of Gabon. The country has a population of about 197,500, according to the Central Intelligence Agency Fact Book.

China’s foreign ministry didn’t state whether it would establish ties with the African nation. After Gambia severed relations with Taiwan in 2013 it took two years for it to formally establish relations with China.

The split comes after President-elect Donald Trump questioned the One-China concept, which has been part of American policy since the 1970s, saying he didn’t understand why the U.S. should be bound to it unless deals could be struck with China on issues like trade.

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China welcomed Taiwan's split with the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe, leaving Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen with just 21 diplomatic partners.The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the falling out in a statement Wednesday, praising Sao Tome and...
China, Taiwan, splits, Sao Tome and Principe
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2016-28-20
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 09:28 PM
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