Taiwan loses diplomatic recognition of Burkina Faso as China Cheers



BEIJING, Taiwan lost its second diplomatic partner in less than a month because the state of Burkina Faso, in West Africa, broke relations in the midst of a Chinese campaign to suppress international recognition of the autonomous island, which Beijing claims as part of its territory.

Thursday's announcement by the Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso ended a 24-year diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, a few weeks after the Dominican Republic changed the recognition of Beijing instead of Taipei.

The double loss leaves Taiwan with diplomatic recognition since 18 states that China is accelerating efforts to isolate the island from the international community, as well as the president of the United States. UU

Donald Trump

It shows a renewed interest in propping up ties with the island. Before the last defections, Taiwan had lost two diplomatic partners in the last two years.

Encouraging the decision of Burkina Faso, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it welcomed the African country to "join the great family of China-Africa cooperation as soon as possible."

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, in televised remarks, criticized Beijing for trying to undermine the island's sovereignty, saying that those efforts "exposed China's anxiety and lack of confidence."

"We will no longer be lenient, and instead become more determined" in seeking international partnerships, "Tsai said, adding that Taiwan would not counterbalance China's" dollar diplomacy "with similar tactics.

China and Taiwan date from the civil war that ended in 1949 when communist forces expelled the Kuomintang government from the mainland.

Beijing and Taipei have refused to diplomatically recognize any nation that recognizes the other, and each side has offered a generous help in the past to attract allies among developing countries China stopped courting Taiwan's diplomatic partners during the eight-year administration of the Kuomintang during the presidency

Ma Ying-jeou,

that ended in 2016 when Taiwan elected Ms. Tsai as president.

Mrs. Tsai, unlike its predecessor, refused to recognize the principle that China and Taiwan are part of "one China", a formulation that Beijing sees as a recognition that political unification is possible in the future.

Chinese officials have repeatedly ruled Ms. Tsai for not endorsing that principle, and tried to pressure her administration by intensifying military drills around the island, withholding economic cooperation and poaching Taiwan's diplomatic partners.

That pressure seems to have grown since Mr. Trump pbaded a law in March authorizing high-level official visits between the US. UU and the island. The gesture infuriated Chinese leaders who saw it as a break with the US practice of lower-level exchanges with Taiwan since Washington switched to China in 1979. This month, Taipei blamed Beijing for blocking Taiwan's participation in an annual meeting of the United Nations for health. Second year in a row, a China exclusion said it was welcome.

Burkina Faso is the fourth country to have broken ties with Taiwan since the election of Mrs. Tsai, leaving the island with only one diplomatic partner in Africa: the kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, with a population of around 1.3 million.

Taiwanese observers say that Beijing seems anxious to bring all of Africa into its diplomatic orbit before organizing a China-Africa summit in September. Minister of Foreign Affairs of China

Wang Yi

He told reporters in January that he hoped that "all African countries can appear in the family portrait of China-Africa cooperation, without missing anyone."

"Taiwan may have to accept the fact that it will only lose diplomatic partners from now on," he said.

Chen-shen Yen,

an international relations researcher at the National Chengchi University of Taiwan.

Write to Chun Han Wong at [email protected]

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