The Dominican Republic has followed Panama and broken diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China, in a move that highlights the growing economic and geopolitical power of China across the globe, reports the US-based PanamPost.
Panama’s move last year was seen as, accelerating a growing trend in Latin America as China competes with the United States for power, trade relations, and influence.
Nonetheless, Latin America is a region where Taiwan still maintains diplomatic relations with a number of countries; relationships it has assiduously cultivated.
Its list of allies includes Belize, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras and Saint Lucia.
Taiwan was ‘deeply upset’ and ‘disappointed’ by the move, with the Taiwan ministry alleging that “Beijing’s crude attempts at foreign policy can only drive a wedge between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, erode mutual trust, and antagonize the people of Taiwan.”
The Dominican Republic government, however, announced that it was not a reflection of any problems in the relationship with Taiwan, but a reflection of current economic realities.
Top presidential legal adviser Flavio Dario Espinal thanked the Taiwanese government in a press conference, but noted that “history and the socioeconomic reality force us now to change direction.”
The move undoubtedly is also a reflection of the largesse that enables China’s roaring economic giant to use its financial clout to win allies throughout the world. The Chinese government reportedly gave USD $3 billion to the Caribbean nation, and is increasingly concerned by the efforts of some US lawmakers, particularly Republicans, to strengthen US-Taiwanese ties.