El Salvador has become the latest country to ditch diplomatic recognition of Taiwan under Beijing's "One China" policy. Taiwan has said China is increasingly "out of control."
Taiwan on Tuesday broke off diplomatic relations with El Salvador because the Central American country is switching allegiance to China. The move leaves Taiwan with only 17 diplomatic allies around the world, as Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island, continues in its attempts to isolate it on the international stage.
"All bilateral cooperation projects will be terminated. We will begin to recall all diplomatic staff and technical teams," Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told a news conference in Taipei.
Wu added that Taiwan had been aware of El Salvador's intention to build diplomatic ties with China since June, in order to receive investment and aid from China.
"China's arbitrary behavior has had negative impacts on the relations across the Taiwan Strait," he said.
Beijing has a "One China" principle that requires other nations to avoid formal diplomatic recognition of Taiwan. The island has had a separate government since Chinese Nationalists fled there in 1949 after they lost the civil war to the Communists.
Money and diplomacy
China's official Xinhua news agency meanwhile reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Salvador's Foreign Minister Carlos Castaneda had signed a communique establishing diplomatic relations.
Castaneda said that establishing formal ties with Beijing was a strategic and an historic decision for the Latin American country, according to Xinhua. Wang said El Salvador was establishing ties with China "without any preconditions" and would be a partner in Beijing's Belt and Road infrastructure investment project.
Beijing has been putting increasing pressure on the island ever since Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016.
Tsai's ruling Democratic Progressive Party has refused to endorse Beijing's "One China" principle.
Over the past two years, China has gotten four of Taiwan's allies, including the Gambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Panama and Burkina Faso to break with Taiwan.
Tsai said the diplomatic incident about El Salvador is just part of what she called China's cheap "verbal intimidation and saber-rattling."
av/rt (DPA, Reuters, AFP)