El Salvador and Taiwan officially severed diplomatic ties after the Central American nation announced on Monday its new allegiance with China.
This brings down Taiwan’s allies to 17 countries. Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, pledged to remain resilient and not buckle under pressure from China.
“We will turn to countries with similar values to fight together against China’s increasingly out-of-control international behavior,” Tsai said.
Taiwan which strongly pushed for its independence under Tsai’s governance is being isolated by China from the global stage.
Beijing has stepped up its efforts to take hold of Taiwan’s international allies. Before El Salvador, Burkina Faso and Dominica Republic already ties with Taiwan earlier this year.
Taiwan’s foreign minister, Joseph Wu said that El Salvador requested the administration to assist them by providing an “astronomical sum” in monetary aid for a planned port project.
Officials believe that this will not benefit both countries as it will leave them in debt. They have recently received reports stating that El Salvador established ties with China in exchange for investments and financial aid.
“The Taiwanese government is fully against competing in dollar diplomacy with China,” Wu said. “Pressure from China would only make Taiwan more determined to continue our path of democracy and freedom.”
The foreign minister said that government officials met with El Salvador’s representatives during Tsai’s visit to Latin America but talks fell through leading to switching of allegiance.
On Monday, El Salvador’s president Salvador Sánchez Cerén announced that his country has just established diplomatic ties with China and dropped allegiance with Taiwan.
“We are convinced this is a step in the right direction that corresponds to the principles of international law, of international relations and the inevitable trends of our time,” he said.
In response, Tsai’s Democratic Progressive party stated “China will not get unification with Taiwan by luring away our allies. What China did was to humiliate Taiwan repeatedly without getting any respect from Taiwan’s people.”