Dominican Republic Switches Diplomatic Allegiance from Taiwan to China

Dominican Republic Switches Diplomatic Allegiance from Taiwan to China
Credit: Reuters / TPG

What you need to know

The decision reduces Taiwan's remaining diplomatic allies to 19.

The Dominican Republic severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China late Monday, bringing to an end a relationship that had lasted almost 80 years.

The decision whittles down Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies to 19, comprised of African, Caribbean, Latin American and Pacific island nations, as well as the Vatican.

"We have taken the decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, with the conviction that this decision will be extraordinarily positive for the future of our country," read an official statement by the Caribbean country.

The statement went on to recognize that there is “only one China in the world” and Taiwan is “an inalienable part of Chinese territory.”

A signing ceremony took place at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing attended by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Dominican counterpart Miguel Vargas.

The Dominican Republic is the latest to accept the lure of Chinese financial assistance and investment, following Panama, which switched allegiance to China in June 2017.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu responded with a statement immediately severing diplomatic ties with the Dominican Republic, adding that China’s ongoing efforts to isolate Taiwan from the international community would further damage cross-Strait relations.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement expressed disappointment that the Dominican Republic had chosen to reject recent outreach efforts in favor of “unrealistic” offers of Chinese investment.

The statement also highlighted similar unfulfilled Chinese promises to other countries, including a US$1-billion-plus Chinese-Costa Rican refinery joint venture that was cancelled by Costa Rica’s National Oil Refinery after being plagued with scandal. Costa Rica switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 2007.

China has yet to secure the jewel in Taiwan’s diplomatic crown, Vatican City, despite reports of “relentless” attempt to improve relations on behalf of Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

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