Panama, China establish diplomatic ties

Panama, China establish diplomatic ties

Panama, China establish diplomatic ties

Panama broke off diplomatic relations with Taiwan and switched to Beijing, accepting its "One China" policy, the countries announced Monday.

He said Taiwan was also cutting its diplomatic ties with Panama to "safeguard" the "nation's sovereignty and dignity".

Unlike numerous R.O.C.'s diplomatic allies established in the 1990s during the height of Taipei's turf war with Beijing for global recognition, Panama has had ties with Taiwan for more than a century.

"The Government of the Republic of Panama severs "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan as of this day and undertakes not to have any more official relations or official exchanges with Taiwan", it continued.

During a press briefing after the meeting, Wang Yi said Panama is an important Latin American country, and the Chinese people value the traditional friendship with the Panamanian people.

Liao said he was not anxious about a domino effect among Taiwan's allies and instead urged the government to put more resources into maintaining the conveniences Taiwanese passport holders have around the world, saying that would be the most meaningful result of diplomacy for most Taiwanese.

Former Mexican ambassador to China, Jorge Guajardo, tweeted that he expected the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua to follow suit soon. Tsai Ing-wen paid a visit to Panama just last June on her first trip overseas as Taiwan's president.

Tsai has refused to acknowledge the concept that Taiwan is part of "one China", unlike her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou.

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Beijing's ties with Panama boost China's presence in Central America, the United States' backyard.

Panama's decision left Taiwan with only 20 diplomatic allies in the world, with 11 of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In Taipei, Joseph Wu, secretary general of the presidential office, said Tuesday morning Taiwan would rethink its relations with the mainland in the wake of Panama's decision.

Although China refused to form such ties during the previous administration of China-friendly president Ma Ying-jeou, it no longer has any such qualms, Tang said.

Beijing has lured away another of Taiwan's dwindling number of allies. "Big question is, will Vatican ditch Taiwan for Beijing?" he added.

China has become a major power in its own right and the U.S.' increased global isolationism under the Trump administration makes Taiwan much more vulnerable than before.

A poll released by the Taiwanese government last weekend showed almost three-quarters of respondents rejected Beijing's insistence on the one-China principle as a precondition to political ties, while more than 80 percent said China's efforts to limit Taiwan's worldwide space hurt their interests, and a similar proportion said China should recognize the existence of the "Republic of China", as Taiwan officially calls itself.

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