Taiwan 'Outraged' as Burkina Faso Signs Communique with China

Taiwan 'Outraged' as Burkina Faso Signs Communique with China
Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG
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Taiwan vocalizes its frustration at China's ongoing efforts to throttle its international agency.

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Taiwan's Ministry of Affairs (MoFA) issued a statement early Sunday expressing its disappointment at the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Burkina Faso, just two days after the African nation severed links with Taipei.

"The government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) expresses profound disappointment, regret, and outrage that the government of Burkina Faso has succumbed to the enticements of dollar diplomacy, signing a joint communique in Beijing," the MoFA statement said, adding that the decision disregards the contribution Taiwan has made to the country's economic and social development over the 24 years that they maintained relations.

China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and his counterpart from Burkina Faso, Alpha Barry, signed a joint communique establishing diplomatic relations between their two countries on Saturday, according to a statement on China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. The communique said that Burkina Faso agrees to recognize the "one China" principle, and that Taiwan is an inseparable part of Chinese territory.

Taiwan's MoFA said that "Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state, a fact which the 'one China principle' cannot negate unilaterally," adding that it will continue to strengthen relations with Taiwan's remaining 18 diplomatic allies, and ward off attempts by China to further weaken its ability to maneuver on the international stage.

China has in the recent past successfully blocked the participation of Taiwanese experts and media at the United Nation's World Health Assembly.

Several airlines, including British Airways Lufthansa and Air Canada, also switched their website listings for Taiwan to "Taiwan, China" last week amid threats to cripple their China business should they fail to comply with China's request to do so. U.S. airlines have held out against the move, amid calls from the White House to resist what it has described as "Orwellian nonsense."

Taiwan President Tsai Ying-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday responded to Burkina Faso's move to cut ties by issuing a strongly worded statement. "China's serial acts of suppression against Taiwan in the diplomatic sphere clearly show their unease and lack of self-confidence ... due to Taiwan's recent progress in substantive economic and security relations with the United States and other like-minded countries," it said.

Tsai warned the Chinese government that such political interference in Taiwan's affairs would not be tolerated, and suggested that China's efforts to Taiwan's ability to operate in the international space, coupled with its engagement in "dollar diplomacy" weakened its position on the world stage. "We will simply redouble our resolve and continue to engage with the world, and continue establishing more and more substantive, economic and security partnerships with like-minded countries to garner the international community's acknowledgement and support," the statement said.

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